$6m NCA scandal: AG, defence lawyers argue over hearing days | General News 2018-01-09
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General News of Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Source: citifmonline.com

$6m NCA scandal: AG, defence lawyers argue over hearing days

The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, and defence lawyers in the trial of some former government appointees for their roles in a supposed $6 million fraudulent deal between the National Communication Authority (NCA) and Infraloks Development Limited (IDL), argued in court today [Tuesday], about the number of days the case should be heard in a week.

While the AG’s office was pushing for the case to be heard every working day in a week, lawyers of the accused persons argued for once a week, citing among other things, the poor health conditions of their clients.

The case in question involves the former Director General of the NCA, William Tevie and four others, who have been arraigned for alleged fraud and for causing financial loss to the state.
The five are said to have fraudulently withdrawn some four million dollars from NCA accounts without justification.

Resolving the disagreement between the lawyers, the judge, Justice Kyei Baffour, ruled that the case will be heard twice a week, and further asked the AG’s office to furnish the defence with all the documents they will rely on to allow for a speedy trial.

After the hearing, the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, recounted to Citi News the happenings in court, whilst questioning the commitment of the defence lawyers.

In her view, the quicker the case is handled, the better for all parties involved.

“Given the constraints of the health of two of the accused persons and also taking into account the counsel’s commitments, the court struck a compromise that in that case, we would sit, barring any other exigencies, on two days; Tuesdays and Thursdays for the period.”

“We are having to deal with commitment, our office is also very busy, but we were prepared to sacrifice everything so that the trial could be handled expeditiously… You also have a situation where lawyers are saying they have other commitments in the Supreme Court, and of course, because the Supreme Court prevails over other courts once you have a matter there,” she added.

But Madam Akuffo said hearings could be postponed as and when other commitments in other courts arise.

“…As and when it becomes necessary for any of the lawyers, including my office, to appear before the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, I believe that the Court will give a good ear to that,” she stated.