A Circuit Court in Bolgatanga has ruled that a brand-new motorbike and a cash of Gh¢5,000 the EIB Network’s investigative journalist, Edward Adeti, says were given to him by officials of the Shaanxi Mining Company Ltd to influence him to not expose a High Court judge, Justice Jacob Boon, be given to him.
A former Minister of State at the Presidency, Rockson Bukari, resigned from government in 2019 after tapes revealing his alleged role in some combined attempts to influence the journalist to kill some investigative findings he uncovered in the justice system were exposed.
Three people— Charles Taleog Ndanbon, Maxwell Wooma and Suwaid Abdul-Mumin— subsequently were arraigned at the Circuit Court, presided over by His Honour Malcolm Bedzrah, for their alleged roles in the scandal. But the court, after the lawyers for the accused persons filed a motion for submission of no case, acquitted and discharged the accused persons as police prosecution team failed to establish before the court that the complainant being Adeti was a public officer.
The judge already had made it clear that the burden to win the case lay on the police and not the complainant. The police prosecution team tendered the motorbike, the cash and some tapes to the court as evidence to support the charges of giving bribe and abetment of crime levelled against the accused persons. The judge in the ruling said, since the accused persons said the motorbike and the cash were given to Adeti as “gifts”, the court would have no option but to hand over the items to Adeti. He, therefore, ruled that the items be given to the journalist.
After the ruling on Wednesday, Adeti said he had nothing to lose as the court only ruled on a technical failure on the part of the police prosecution team and that the ruling did not mean that the items were not given to him by Shaanxi key players to cover up the secret meetings some Shaanxi officials had with Justice Boon at his residence at the time their company had a case before Justice Boon.
As Adeti had proposed long ago in his exposé on Justice Boon and officials of the Shaanxi Mining Company Ltd, which was published online on Tuesday December 18, 2018, he maintained after the ruling on Wednesday that he would donate the brand-new motorbike to charity because it was against his conscience and against the ethics of Journalism for a media practitioner to accept and use items given clearly as bribes as clear on the Rockson Bukari tapes and other tapes to cover up a story against the public interest.
“I’m not disappointed at all. The police sent the matter to court after I took the items to the BNI. I appeared in court as a witness. But the police prosecution, as the court put it, failed. The motorbike should go to a needy CHPS compound to support efforts to reduce maternal and infant deaths in the Talensi District where Shaanxi operates. I’m glad I’m sending these items back to society, to the less privileged.
“The five thousand Ghana cedis should be used to procure furniture for deprived schools in the same Talensi District where the Shaanxi Mining Company operates and schoolchildren are found sitting on the floor for lack of furniture. That money they brought to influence me to harm the public is needed at those deprived schools where they (Shaanxi) operate. I prefer to walk. I will remain proud of my poverty until God does something about it. Posterity will judge every soul,” Adeti told observers and professional colleagues after the ruling.
It would be recalled that before President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo accepted the Mr Bukari’s resignation as Minister of State at the Presidency in April, 2019, over his self-admitted role in the bribery scandal, Justice Jacob Boon had admitted the Shaanxi officials visited him and recused himself from the same case involving the Chinese mining company after Adeti’s investigative findings on the secret meetings were made known to him inside his chambers.