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Judge Advises Godfred Dame to Recuse Himself from Ato Forson Trial

The trial judge, Justice Efia Serwah Asare-Botwe, has advised Attorney-General Godfred Dame to recuse himself from the ongoing case involving Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, citing the interest of justice and public perception.

Justice Asare-Botwe, addressing the court on Thursday, June 6, noted, “Having listened to the conversation between [Richard Jakpa] and the A-G, the allegation that A-G sought assistance to implicate [Ato Forson] was not borne out of the mouth of the A-G but [Richard Jakpa].

The court also dismissed Ato Forson’s application for a mistrial. Lawyers for the Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, had filed a supplementary affidavit supporting their motion for a mistrial, an injunction, and a stay of proceedings in the ongoing ambulance case. This motion followed allegations made by Richard Jakpa against Godfred Dame.

A recording of a telephone conversation between Mr. Jakpa and the Attorney-General was submitted as part of the affidavit. Additionally, quotations from media reports, particularly from Accra-based Asaase Radio, alleging professional misconduct by the A-G, were cited and attached to the process.

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Dr. Ato Forson requested the court to declare a mistrial, arguing that justice must not only be done but also be seen to be done.

He contended that the Attorney-General had engaged in reprehensible and unlawful conduct, unbecoming of his position, with the sole purpose of securing Forson’s conviction.

Forson asserted that if the court ignored these serious matters and proceeded with the trial, it would amount to a travesty of justice and undermine public confidence in the justice system.

However, Godfred Dame opposed the mistrial application, stating that it was baseless and unknown in Ghanaian law.

He argued that no proper grounds had been presented to warrant such an application and that the Attorney-General’s constitutional duty to prosecute crimes could not be obstructed.

He maintained that all persons are equal before the law and no one has immunity from prosecution in Ghana.

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“That no proper grounds have been canvassed by the applicant to warrant a grant of this application, which is unknown to the laws governing criminal law and practice in Ghana.

“That the instant application is a smokescreen and a veiled attempt by the applicant to abort his legitimate prosecution for actions committed as a public officer which led to the State losing colossal amounts of funds. Same is incompetent as no one has immunity from prosecution under the laws of Ghana.

“That I respectfully say that the Attorney-General is vested with the constitutional responsibility to prosecute all crimes within the Republic and cannot be prohibited from discharging this constitutional duty in respect of any person in Ghana as all persons are equal before the law,” Dame stated in his affidavit opposing Ato Forson’s motion.

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