A request from the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, to the High Court (Financial and Economic Division) in Accra seeking an excused duty for Alhaji Collins Dauda, an accused person in the ongoing $200 million Saglemi Affordable Housing trial has been accepted.
Collins Dauda, a former minister for Works and Housing, together with four others have been slapped with 70 counts including willfully causing financial loss to the state
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are standing trial with the first Prosecution Witness, Rev Stephen Yaw Osei, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Works and Housing in the Witness box.
In court on Thursday, December 7, 2023, when the case was called for further cross- examination of the Witness by lawyers of Collins Dauda led by Thaddeus Sory, the Witness was absent with a two-week excused duty from his doctors.
“The court has received a letter from the Parliament of Ghana for request to excused the first accused (Alhaji Collins Dauda) from attendance today, due to the fact that, his presence is urgently required in parliament for crucial exercise in the House to vote for Budget Statement for financial year 2024,” Justice Ernest Owusu Dapaah stated.
He added that, per the letter, it stated that, the request was not intended to undermined the due process of judicial duties.”
Justice Owusu-Dapaah a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting with an additional responsibility as a High Court judge said, the court has “accepted the request to the court by the Speaker.
To this, the Court said, the first accused is excused upon the request of the Speaker of Parliament.
Witness’ excused duty
A Principal State Attorney, Hilda Craig told the Court that, their Witness has been given a two week excused duty and prayed for an adjournment.
“Our witness was to be here this afternoon (Thursday, December 7) to continue with his testimony,” she said.
“My lord, unfortunately we received an excused duty from him which excused him from Court for two weeks and on that basis he will not be able to come to court to continue with his testimony today (Thursday, December 7),” Ms. Craig told the Court.
She said, “We wish to bring to the court a copy of the excused duty signed by a doctor at Ridge Hospital Kojo Okutu Blackson dated December 6, 2023.”
Justice Owusu-Dapaah after hearing the parties said the “Court will take the excused duty on its face value” and adjourned the case to December 21, 2023 for continuation.
Alhaji Collins Dauda, together with Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, a former Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing; Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, Chief Director at the Ministry for Water Resources, Works and Housing, contributed to the Saglemi Housing deal when it was prepared and signed.
Also playing part are businessman Andrew Clocanas, Executive Chairman of Construtora OAS Ghana Limited and Nouvi Tetteh Angelo, Chief Executive Officer and owner of Ridge Management Solutions Ghana Limited.
Alhaji Collins Dauda, a former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing who doubles as NDC MP for Asutifi South in the Ahafo Region, and four others are involved in the $200 million Saglemi Housing Project scandal.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Murtala Inusah