The Accra Fast Track High Court this morning struck out charges of theft, fraud and conspiracy to defraud the state brought against me three years ago.
Messrs Emmanuel Agbodo, Thomas Benson Owusu, Kwame Peprah and Madam Sherry Aryitey who were facing similar charges have also had their charges dropped.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
My understanding is that former President John Agyekum Kufuor gave the order for the discontinuation of the case on the eve of his departure from office.
The purchase of Nsawam Cannery by Caridem, which was the transaction in question, was executed without any element of criminality and my colleagues and I always wondered how the state expected to prove its case against us.
A proper bidding process was put in place for the sale and Caridem won through due process because we were the highest bidder. The World Bank supervised the entire bidding process, so it was a huge shock to us when the NPP government decided to prosecute and persecute us over a process that was already ten years old.
Having purchased the Nsawam Cannery we sought assistance from major financiers some of whom had done due diligence and were on the verge of making payments for the factory to resume operations. These institutions withdrew their support soon after 30 charges were preferred against us over a purported discovery of major discrepancies in the sale of the cannery.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
My image and that of the co-accused has been battered beyond recognition, my reputation amongst my peers sullied and my family abused both locally and internationally because many were convinced their mum was a criminal.
I wonder on what basis John Kufuor decided to discontinue the case on his last day in office. This same man was the initiator of court proceedings against us but on his departure from office he chose to score cheap and shameless political points with my fundamental human rights as if he owned my life.
At some point during the process we were resigned to our fate knowing that the powers that be had no plans of capitulating. Having excelled in ensuring that all cases against members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led to imprisonment we were like lambs being led to the slaughter.
We definitely were not expecting a fair judgement at the end of the day but are convinced that the case was withdrawn at the last minute because ex-President Kufuor having failed to perpetuate his party’s stay in power and knowing that he will be exposed if the case continued under this government decided to discontinue the case.
If Kufuor thought there was any criminality in the purchase of the Nsawam Cannery, what moral basis does he have to withdraw the charges?
Millions of dollars have gone down the drain as we defended ourselves in court while the project was put on hold. Is Kufuor going refund that? Will ever be able to turn the clock back and restore us our lost reputations?
Taxpayer’s money has been wasted pursuing this exercise in futility. Had it been another government the previous Attorney General would probably have been prosecuted for causing financial loss to the state but alas we find ourselves in different circumstances.
Our legal team has been asked to prepare a detailed report for the general public to appreciate the disdain the previous government had for our liberties and its quest to tarnish our reputations at whatever cost. I am not discounting the possibility of bringing charges against Kufuor and all those who individually and collectively colluded to persecute us, abuse our fundamental human rights, destroy our hard won reputations and lose us potential revenue from the operation of the cannery.
I am grateful to the almighty God for protecting us through these trying moments, to the people of Ghana through whose toil change came to Ghana, compelling John Kufuor to take this belated decision.
My husband Jerry Rawlings was always by my side giving me strength and belief even though he must have had it at the back of his mind that his darling wife may wrongfully go to jail because of the vindictiveness of those who initiated the legal action. Thank you Sweetheart for your enduring support.
Signed: Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings