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Mathew Appiah, the lawyer for the released eight members of the Delta force – a vigilante group – has hit back at the Information Ministry for claiming that the Attorney General was unaware of the circumstances leading to their discharge.
A Kumasi Circuit Court Wednesday struck out the case against the eight who allegedly aided the escape of 13 of their colleagues standing trial for assaulting the president’s Security Coordinator for the Ashanti region.
Charged with causing disturbances in court, resisting arrest and rescuing persons in lawful custody, they were released by the court presided by her Honour Patricia Amponsah for want of evidence after ACP Darko filed a nolle prosequi to discontinue the case.
Their release angered the Minority in Parliament and a section of Ghanaians. In a bid to exonerate the Attorney General (AG) Gloria Akuffo from the infamous release of the eight, the Information Minister Mustapha Hamid said in a statement that the AG was unaware of the decision by ACP Darko to discontinue the case.
But in a sharp response, Lawyer Appiah accused the Information Minister of lying.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Starr News’ Isaac Bediako, he debunked the claim by Mr. Hamid, explaining that he does not believe the AG is unaware of the decision to drop the case for lack of evidence by her agents in the Ashanti region.
According to him, the Ministry of Information has the right to as part of the government’s machinery to claim the AG was not aware in the wake of the criticisms the release of the eight courted.
“But,” he said “we will wait for the Attorney General herself to come out because the law is that the chief State Attorney in the Ashanti region is a representative of the Attorney General in Accra. And the Chief State Attorney takes decisions on behalf of the Attorney General in Accra and that decision is binding on the Attorney General.
“So nobody can sit anywhere and take a decision that they are going to conduct any fresh investigations. As far as we are concerned this is conclusive and the advice has come. If there is any such thing…the Attorney General should come out and say that she has not authorized it.
“But she authorized it. What I am saying is that by law she has authorized it because…at the end of the day the person who advised is her representatives and therefore she is bound by that decision. So if anybody says it is the contrary, we presumed that it is a regular act. Let them bring it and we will see what will happen,” he added.
Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this story we wrongly attributed it to the prosecutor at the centre of the release of the eight members of the Delta Force, ACP Okyere Darko. We unreservedly apologise for the mishap.