Drama unfolded yesterday at a Cape Coast Circuit Court, presided over by Kofi Seshie Amatewee, when the Attorney General (AG) refused to present a fiat to the court.
The fiat was on the matter against the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for the Hemang-Lower-Denkyira (HLD) Constituency of the Central Region, Bright Wireko-Brobby and 17 others over allegation that they stole fertilizers.
Wireko-Brobby and three others – Kweku Nsowah, Felix Kwame Quainoo and Ernest Odei Larbi – were accused of stealing 1,201 bags of cocoa fertilizers at the Twifo Praso office of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) estimated at GH¢201,287.60 while 14 others were also charged for dishonestly receiving the said fertilizers.
According to Chief State Attorney, John Ofori Tulasi, the Central Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID) received fresh evidence and that the AG had been asked to hold on with the fiat for the new evidence to be prepared for the court to be advised.
No Case To Answer
Mr. Ofori therefore pleaded with the court to adjourn the case to August 3, 2016 to enable them make the necessary additions.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that the AG’s Department (Prosecution Division) had reportedly advised the police to drop the case because there was no evidence to sustain conviction of the NPP candidate and his co-accused.
“There is nothing in the docket to show that he (Bright Wireko-Brobby) stole or conspired with any of the suspects to steal fertilizer. It cannot be said that any of the suspects dishonestly appropriated bags of fertilizer. There is no evidence to that effect in the docket.
“After carefully perusing the docket, it is my opinion that charges of conspiracy to steal and stealing cannot be sustained against any of the suspects. I do not recommend their prosecution,” he claimed.
Counsel for the accused persons, Michael Arthur Dadzie, who looked very shocked about the development, expressed concern about the prosecutor’s refusal to file a copy of the AG’s fiat before the judge.
“If the court has ordered for the fiat why didn’t they submit the copy to the judge? The matter has been pending for the past one year and what again is being uncovered now? Whoever is doing this should bear in mind that whatever measure is being used today would be used against him or her tomorrow,” he fumed.
In the earlier presentation, the prosecutor, Chief Inspector Amoako, said Mr Wireku-Brobby, who contested as parliamentary candidate on the ticket of the NPP during the June 13, 2015 primary for the HLD Constituency, was charged with conspiring with Felix Kwame Quainoo, Twifo Praso District Cocoa Officer, in getting access to the said fertilizer and after securing them, distributed them to the other accused persons who are farmers and polling station executive of the party to aid his chances of winning the primary.
The prosecutor stated that the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Francis Korankye Sekyi, upon hearing the information, reported the matter to the police.
The prosecutor added that on June 12, 2015, the police had information that Wireku-Brobby was distributing government’s free cocoa fertilizers meant for farmers in the area to some NPP polling station executives to enable them vote for him during the NPP parliamentary primary, which led to the arrest of a suspected beneficiary, Anthony Carr, who had 38 bags of the commodity handed over to him by Wireko-Brobby and Kweku Nsowah.
Chief Inspector Amoako said Wireko-Brobby promised to distribute the fertilizers to the polling station executives during his campaign.
He said Quainoo, the district cocoa officer, did not use the right procedure to release the said quantity of fertilizer bags to Ernest Odei Larbi and Nsowah.
Meanwhile, the management of COCOBOD has terminated the appointment of Quainoo after facing the charges of using his office to wrongfully allocate and distribute fertilizers to some farmers in the area.