The lawyer for Charles Bissue, the former Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining, says despite the issuance of a court order for his client’s arrest, he will not be turning himself in.
Speaking on Top Story on Joy FM, the legal practitioner, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah said this is not because his client is on the run but because the arrest warrant was improperly secured.
He explained that if the court was privy to all the information including complaints of human rights abuse of Mr Bissue by the Special Prosecutor, the court order for his client’s arrest would not have been given.
“The arrest warrant would have been secured ex parte, which is without notice to Charles Bissue. So the court would have acted based solely on information the Special Prosecutor gave to it. The court made that order without being fed with the global evidence in this matter, and granted the arrest order without properly exercising its discretion not through its fault,” Mr Awuah said.
He added that “if the court was privy to certain facts including but not limited to pending suits and motions for interlocutory injunctions, it would not have granted or made an order for that arrest.”
Mr Awuah said that it is seemingly suspicious that the Special Prosecutor is in a hurry when there are about three pending suits against him.
“Why can’t he allow the processes to run their course? Is it because he has got scores to settle? There is another suit in our human rights court by Charles Bissue where he complains of warrant and breach of his fundamental human rights. When the Special Prosecutor went to secure that, warrant I am sure he didn’t disclose all these facts.”
The Lawyer stated that he and his team are also working on the way forward saying “we are going to take steps.”
This comes after the Office of the Special Prosecutor secured an order from the court to arrest the former Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM). The order follows investigations into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences relating to illegal mining.
This order was secured after Mr Bissue failed to honour an invitation by the Special Prosecutor last month.
The OSP, on May 3, wrote to Mr. Bissue informing him that he was a necessary person for the investigation into the activities of the IMCIM, and was asked to appear on May 22.
Lawyers for Mr Bissue then wrote to the OSP requesting a copy of the petition forming the basis of this invitation, and asking that the said meeting be rescheduled to May 25 due to “a domestic emergency”.
But, Mr Awuah said that the Special Prosecutor did not only refuse the proposed May 25 date but he has also refused to hand them a copy of the petitions or documents forming a basis of the invitation and the subsequent call for arrest.
“You (Special Prosecutor) proceed to say that he should rather make available copies of documentation, what documentation are you talking about? Documentations to speak to or respond to what? You never stated so. So, is it proper discretion? Is that the way you conduct an investigation?”
Meanwhile, Charles Bissue, has gone to the High Court to stop the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) from investigating him over suspected corruption and corruption-related offences involving a public officer.
According to the former Presidential staffer, an investigation cannot be launched when a copy of the petition forming the basis of the investigation has not been given to him.
In a writ sighted by JoyNews, Mr. Bissue argued that, the OSP in its half-year report dated December 31, 2022, had stated that “the Office has concluded investigation into the allegation of the use of public office for profit against Charles Bissue during his tenure as secretary to the erstwhile Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) arising from an investigative documentary titled Galamsey Fraud Part 1 published by Tiger Eye P.I and the journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.”