Nana Yaw Osei Esq

Private legal practitioner Nana Yaw Osei has taken it out hard at the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Godfred Yeboah Dame for refusing to recuse himself from the ongoing Ambulance Purchase trial after conducting himself in a manner perceived as disgraceful

An Appeals Court Judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, advised the AG to excuse himself from conducting the case after the first and third defendants in the case raised issues of professional and prosecutorial misconduct in reference to the content of a recorded interaction between Mr. Dame and the third accused Richard Jakpa.

In a ruling, the judge advised the Attorney-General not to be involved in the prosecution of the case to ensure the judicial process was protected and to maintain public confidence.

Nana Yaw Osei, in an interview with Millicent Safo-Adu on Bresosem at Abusuafm, stated that “Whether the Attorney-General recuse himself from the case or not, it will not wash away the shame he has received”.

He insisted, “You see, it is what the Attorney General will say that is necessary. If he has boldly said he won’t distance himself from the case for other people within his department to continue with the case, there’s nothing wrong with it, but the disgrace he has received; it won’t wash.

The lawyer argued that the decision of the Attorney General to proceed with the case could be inferred as a smokescreen to cover the guilt and public embarrassment that has greeted his perceived beckoning of a defendant to directly secure fake medical documents to demand a leave of the courts for medical reasons amidst other allegations of asking Jakpa to implicate the first defendant Ato Forson.

“Sometimes, it may be because of the disgrace he has received. That’s the reason he won’t excuse himself.”

Nana Yaw Osei argued that the Attorney-General’s conduct has breached the code of ethics of the Ghana BAR Association which bars lawyers from directly contacting a legally represented client on the opposite side of a case.

He argued, “If you read our code of conduct, it states clearly that it is a misconduct to interact with someone’s client, whether the lawyer is present or not.

“You’ve taken someone to court, whether it’s a criminal or civil matter. You’re there because of a fair hearing, so why speak with the accused in private engagements about the case that is pending in court?” he quizzed

Nana Yaw Osei also emphasized that the court’s advice to the Attorney-General meant that the court admits that the Attorney-General has misconducted himself.

“If you do the right thing, we don’t advise you; we appreciate you instead,

The advice by the Judge simply means the Court admits the AG’s conduct was inappropriate. The reason is that if you read the judgment, it says there’s a need for an investigation about the conduct of Godfred Yeboah Dame, but the court is not the appropriate quarters,” he contended.

The legal practitioner further argued that the Attorney-General’s conduct has raised questions about his ability to provide fair guidance to lawyers.

He queried, “had this not happened and Godfred Yeboah Dame were called to educate lawyers, do you think the advice he would give would include, ‘If you’re doing a case, go backdoor and speak with other Lawyers’ client’? He would not advise them to interact with clients privately about pending cases?”

He also pointed out that upon hearing the Judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe stating that she had listened to the tape 10 times, but couldn’t state the voice she heard was not the Attorney General, the tape was cleared of claims it was doctored.

“The judge couldn’t say that the tape she listened to 10 times is not a conversation between the Attorney General and Richard Jakpa, the third accused. The reason I say there’s no disagreement about the tape.

“I feel ashamed that the Attorney General did that because it is an embarrassment. If someone will do such a thing, it should not be the Attorney General,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the High Court, Accra, has dismissed the application by the first and third defendants for the court to declare a mistrial to undertake an enquiry into the conduct of the Attorney General and to stay proceedings until the reliefs were heard.

Source: Ghana/ Owusu