Politics

Minority Leader’s prosecution is persecution by government – Speaker Bagbin

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The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has described the ongoing prosecution of the Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, as a deliberate attempt by the government to persecute him.

Mr. Bagbin says leadership is a matter of risk and repercussions of decisions taken may not always be favourable. However, elsewhere in the United States and the United Kingdom, there are alternate means of dealing with such instances when they occur, rather than facing prosecution in court.

“It happens all over the world not only in Ghana. It happens in the US, UK and the world over and they do not go to prosecution. There are other ways of handling these matters,” he had indicated.

Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, Dr. Sylvester Anemana a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health and Businessman, Richard Jakpa are standing trial in connection with the importation of some 30 ambulances.

Dr. Cassiel Ato Baah Forson is Minority Leader in Parliament
The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, has been charged with two counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state by causing Letters of Credit to be established in favour of Big Sea for the supply of Ambulances “without due cause and authorization”.

The Rt. Hon. Speaker during the leadership of Parliament’s visit to the spouse and family of late Majority Leader, Felix Owusu Adjapong to commiserate with them, made the comments.

In the absence of the two caucus leaders, Mr. Bagbin was explaining to the family why Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and Dr. Ato Forson could not join the delegation. With the Majority leader, the Speaker said he had to attend to something urgent, whilst the Minority Leader was attending court proceedings for which he couldn’t join the delegation.

“The Majority Leader indicated to me that he had to come ahead and he had some challenges to attend to in Kumasi so he will not be available. The Minority Leader, unfortunately, and I keep on saying this, is being persecuted. So, on a number of these occasions he cannot be with us because he is appearing in court. As at now he is in court being tried. It is not that we don’t want the rule of law to apply. But where prosecution is just a gamble; “I may win or may not win, but let me do it”, I will not prescribe that for any politician,” he averred.

“Because as a leader, you always have to take the risk. You could get it right, you could get it catastrophically wrong. Could you be prosecuted because of that? Then, there will tribulation, and nobody will have the courage to come up boldly and take decisions when things are really hard. So, these are some of the things we have to take on board as we work together in Ghana,” he indicated.

Speaker Bagbin continued that the nature of the trial has thwarted the leader’s responsibilities.

“…So, he has been absent on the day we were going to President Kufuor’s place, the same thing, he was in court, today too he is in court. It’s important I mention it so that the media coverage will support us,” he noted.

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