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Martin Luther Kpebu, a private legal practitioner, has said the inclusion of Justice Asare-Botwe in the list of nominated judges to the Supreme Court raises suspicion.

The Chief Justice of the Republic, Gertrude Araba Essaba Torkornoo, has written to the President for the appointment of five more judges to the Supreme Court.

Following the request, the President has made five nominations to be added to the number of judges at the apex court.

The list includes a judge who is currently handling a high-profile political matter in the country.

Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe is the presiding judge for the ongoing ambulance purchase trial.

The trial is a highly political case involving a former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, who is now Minority Leader in Parliament, and businessman, Richard Jakpa.

The duo is standing trial for the procurement of some ambulances for the State which were not fit for purpose, and therefore being charged for causing financial loss to the state.

It has emerged that the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, who is prosecuting the matter has been accused of attempts to impress upon the third defendant in the matter, Richard Jakpa, to falsify his testimony against the Minority Leader to get him imprisoned.

In one of Jakpa’s testimonies, he noted that the A-G had told him he has made arrangements for his acquittal once he obliges by his demands.

This, is what Martin Kpebu thinks, makes the judge’s inclusion suspicious.

According to Kpebu, it is possible that the supposed arrangement Mr. Jakpa said the A-G has made includes conniving with the judge to get him (Jakpa) freed.

He says the judge’s inclusion can bring confusion especially at this time when the utterances of the A-G, per Jakpa’s testimony, appears to implicate the judge in question.

Speaking on the matter on the KeyPoints Saturday, July 06, 2024, Martin Kpebu noted that “once it’s come out that Jakpa says in his tape that Attorney-General says things have been arranged,… [and] in Ghana here, if the Attorney-General is saying that things have been arranged in a trial, naturally you’ll think about communication with the judge etc. We can’t shy away from this thing. Let’s be very open, otherwise our democracy will not grow.”

The lawyer says when he saw the list, he asked himself if the inclusion of the judge’s name on the list was part of the “things have been arranged” allegation made by Mr. Jakpa in court.

He added that although the competences of the nominees are apt, the timing is also problematic since the President has just about five months to exit office.

“Akufo-Addo has just about five months to leave office. We should not allow him to make a decision as momentous as appointing Supreme Court justice,” he added.

Read also:

Ambulance trial: I declared war on the A-G after he failed to keep his promise to discharge me – Jakpa