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Ato Forson accuses a judge of prejudice in his criminal prosecution and requests that she disqualify herself

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Ato Forson accuses a judge of prejudice in his criminal prosecution and requests that she disqualify herself

Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority Leader, has asked the judge presiding over his criminal prosecution to remove herself due to claimed bias.

The former Deputy Finance Minister, who is on trial for creating financial damage to the state, claims the court, Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, was biased in approving his plea to invite some witnesses.

On June 21, 2023, his lawyers asked the court to summon former Health Minister Alex Segebfia, former Budget Director at the Ministry of Health Patrick Nimo, and former Controller and Accountant General Seidu Kotomah, who have been unable to appear in court to testify despite the fact that some have filed witness statements on his behalf.

On the day of the motion, his lawyer, Aziz Bamba, apologised for not gaining the presence of their second witness, Seidu Kotomah, as efforts to get a witness to appear in court were futile.

Before granting the request, the Judge warned his counsel that the decision to compel witnesses might result in an arrest warrant being issued if the witness does not comply with the summons.

His attorneys, on the other hand, filed the summons motion, which was later approved.

However, according to Dr Cassiel Ato Forson’s appeal for a rejection of the judge, the statements were “highly prejudicial, presented in the form of a caution that was premature and lacked any factual basis.”

He contends that if a witness fails to appear for a witness summons, they should not be “arrested without an inquiry,” but rather the court should determine if the absence is “wilful and without any reasonable excuse.”

According to him, Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe’s emphasis on the possibility of an arrest warrant if the witnesses failed to appear in court has “unsettled and irritated” the witnesses as a result of media reports on the judge’s statements.

He claims that the witnesses have been portrayed as “common criminals and unpatriotic citizens who will wilfully disobey a witness summons issued by the court.”

The Minority Leader also claims that the trial judge’s decision to revise the case completion plan and have two of his witnesses testify on the same day violated his right to a fair trial under Article 19, which requires him to be given adequate time and facilities to prepare his defence.

In the motion, Dr Ato Forson claims, “the trial judge appears hostile to my case and is rushing to judgement, such that it has become clear to me that I would not be given adequate time and facilities to prepare my defence.”

As a result, he requests that the judge stop the proceedings and disqualify herself from hearing the matter further.

Meanwhile, the application that was scheduled to be heard on July 12 was postponed because the judge revealed that the Minority Leader’s attorneys had also petitioned the Chief Justice to assign the matter to a different judge.

The trial judge has so deferred the case until July 27 in the expectation that the Chief Justice’s judgement, which will decide the next actions to be done, will be known by then.

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Handcuffed Hopeson Adorye clashes with police

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The police apprehended him on Wednesday after he claimed to have ignited explosives in the Volta Region during the 2016 general elections. Mr. Adorye made the remark during a radio broadcast in Accra, and it has since gone viral. In an interview with Joy FM, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, a former Member of Parliament for Adenta and current member of the Movement for Change, stated that the arrest is politically motivated.

Hopeson Adorye, a key member of the Movement for Change who has been detained, had a verbal altercation with a police officer as he was being led out of the police headquarters on Wednesday, May 22.

He attempted to talk with his lawyer, Ken Kuranchie while being put into a police car, but the officer interrupted and instructed him to proceed rapidly inside the car.

It was at this moment that he yelled to the police officer, “I’m talking to my lawyer, please, and you’re obstructing me. What is the significance of that? Are you the sole police officer?

The police apprehended him on Wednesday after he claimed to have ignited explosives in the Volta Region during the 2016 general elections.

Mr Adorye remarked during a radio broadcast in Accra, and it has since gone viral.

In an interview with Joy FM, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, a former Member of Parliament for Adenta and current member of the Movement for Change, stated that the arrest is politically motivated.

He stated, “Hopeson Adorye is not about to flee Ghana or his house since the police aim to prosecute him with the dissemination of fake information.

“So, to go to the extent of keeping him all day in the police station and bringing him over to the Ministries to detain him, you point fingers backward at yourself that there is something political at play and it’s not fair,” he said.

“This is obviously politically motivated, there is no doubt about that,” he said.

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Buaben Asamoa claims Hopeson Adorye’s detention politically motivated

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He further alleged that he followed Mr. Adorye to the police headquarters, where he was requested to submit a statement and spent the entire day. However, about 6 p.m., they were informed that Mr. Adorye would be held until additional instructions from upstairs. Mr. Buaben Asamoa believes Adorye's detention is politically motivated, claiming that the police are awaiting orders from higher, hinting that the arrest is not simply a police decision. He also feels Adorye's detention is an attempt to intimidate the Movement for Change and quiet Adorye, who has been public about his views.

Yaw Buaben Asamoa, a member of the Movement for Change and former Member of Parliament for the Adentan seat, has suggested that Hopeson Adorye’s detention is politically motivated.

Police detained Hopeson Adorye, a major member of the Movement for Change, after he claimed to have exploded dynamites in the Volta Region during the 2016 General Elections.

Mr Adorye remarked during a radio broadcast in Accra, and it has since gone viral.

In an interview with Citi News, Mr. Buaben Asamoa said that Mr. Adorye was summoned to the police headquarters on Wednesday and thereafter held.

He further alleged that he followed Mr Adorye to the police headquarters, where he was requested to submit a statement and spent the entire day.

However, at about 6 p.m., they were informed that Mr. Adorye would be held until additional instructions from upstairs.

Mr Buaben Asamoa believes Adorye’s detention is politically motivated, claiming that the police are awaiting orders from higher, hinting that the arrest is not simply a police decision.

He also feels Adorye’s detention is an attempt to intimidate the Movement for Change and quiet Adorye, who has been public about his views.

“Because Hopson has been up and running, and some folks are feeling a bit tense and Jiffy about some of the things he has said. And this is the method of muscling him, attempting to scare the movement for change; it will not succeed. “I am convinced that it is politically motivated.”

Mr. Adorye is now in detention and scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. He has not yet been charged with a crime, but authorities are looking into the dissemination of incorrect information.

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Ato Forson to the government: Fixing the plummeting cedi must be more important to you than getting additional loans

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Dr. Forson emphasised that the Akufo-Addo administration's main worry should be the worrisome devaluation of the Ghanaian cedi. The Minority Leader stated that the quick decrease in the value of the local currency is producing major economic issues, such as company closures and increased unemployment. The Minority Leader voiced alarm about the ongoing depreciation of the Cedi, which he claims is raising the cost of products and services throughout the country. According to him, this is placing a lot of strain on regular Ghanaians and making their lives worse.

Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader, has criticised President Akufo-Addo for convening an emergency parliamentary session at the request of the Majority caucus on Friday, May 17.

He said that there was no genuine emergency that required the recall of Parliament to accept a $150 million World Bank loan.

Dr Forson, a former Deputy Finance Minister, declared at the opening of the parliamentary session that loan clearance was unnecessary.

He emphasised that the administration had already misappropriated cash from the first portion of the previously approved loan.

Dr. Forson emphasised that the Akufo-Addo administration’s main worry should be the worrisome devaluation of the Ghanaian cedi.

The Minority Leader stated that the quick decrease in the value of the local currency is producing major economic issues, such as company closures and increased unemployment.

The Minority Leader voiced alarm about the ongoing depreciation of the Cedi, which he claims is raising the cost of products and services throughout the country.

According to him, this is placing a lot of strain on regular Ghanaians and making their lives worse.

He advised the government to concentrate on stabilising the Cedi rather than obtaining new loans for what he referred to as spending.

Dr Forson emphasised the need for the government to put economic stability and civilian well-being first.

The Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam congressman maintained that solving the Cedi’s free slide should be the government’s top priority.

He cautioned that failing to do so would deepen economic suffering and jeopardise the country’s financial stability.

In conclusion, Dr Forson urged the government to reconsider its objectives and take quick measures to stabilise the economy rather than incur further debt.

He advised a change away from borrowing and towards policies that would strengthen the local currency and promote long-term economic prosperity.

“How is the approval of a US$150 million loan an urgent issue, when US$200 million for phase one approved by this House has been misapplied and not accounted for?”

“How is it an urgent matter for Parliament to be summoned from recess to approve a-US$150 million loan agreement at a time that this government is granting questionable US$450 million tax waiver?”

“Therefore, we want to make the point clear that there is no urgent matter before the House to warrant this recall.”

“Rt. Hon. Speaker, the urgent matter facing the people of Ghana, particularly businesses, traders and households is the free fall of the Cedi. This is a matter that concerns everyone. The depreciation of the Cedi should be an urgent issue for all of us,” he said.

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