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A-G Dodges Muntaka

 

Betty Mould and Muntaka

Betty Mould and Muntaka

THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, and her Department were yesterday conspicuously missing in action at an Accra Fast Track High Court where she was to contest a legal tussle with the embattled Chief Director of  the Ministry of Youth and Sports who has been interdicted over the Muntaka Pampers scandal.

Albert Anthony Ampong has dragged the A-G and the Head of the Civil Service to court for an order to compel the Head of Civil Service to allow him to resume normal duties as Chief Director.

The A-G was expected to oppose Mr. Ampong’s motion, but when the case was called she was nowhere to be found. Godfred Yeboah Dame, counsel for Mr. Ampong, reminded the trial judge, Justice Kwame Asiedu, that at the last adjourned date he gave the A-G two weeks to file the processes but the time has elapsed with the A-G only filing its affidavit in opposition, leaving the statement of case.

He consequently prayed the court to allow him move the motion, which was obliged by the judge. Mr. Ampong and Adim Odoom, the Principal Accountants at the Ministry who made certain revelations of financial impropriety against the then Minister for Youth and sports Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, were both interdicted after President Atta Mills directed the National security Coordinator to conduct preliminary investigations into the matter.

Seeking a judicial review of the matter, Mr. Dame described the decision of the President to interdict his client and order him to refund a sum of $20000, as well as to direct the head of civil servant to impose disciplinary measures against his client on the basis of the investigation’s report, as unlawful.

According to counsel, though Ampong was not the subject of the investigations, he, a witness, has rather been interdicted and put on half of his salary. Counsel added that his client was also denied access to a lawyer during the proceedings before the National Security Committee.

According to counsel, the President could not have legally gone ahead to impose those sanctions without giving Ampong a hearing in the matter. He therefore prayed the court for a certiorari to quash the unlawful orders of the President and grant an order of mandamus to allow him resume work.

The court, after the submission of counsel, slated November 27, 2009 for ruling. Even though the A-G was absent, in its affidavit in opposition, it argued that the President acted within the powers conferred on him by civil service law in the decision he took.

According to the affidavit, the director allegedly told the committee that he gave the $20,000 to the minister; therefore the interdiction is an interim measure to prevent him from interfering with the formal investigations to be conducted in whatever offence he might have committed in giving the money to the minister.

On the issue of being denied access to counsel, the A-G indicated that the plaintiff can only be accorded the right to counsel during a formal hearing to assess his conduct as stated in the service law. The A-G asked the court to dismiss the application for judicial review since it is premature and only intends to hijack the processes in conducting meaningful inquiry into Ampong’s conduct.

Source: dailyguideghana

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