An Accra High Court has thrown out the government’s case against former president of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi over the No 12 invesitgation after the state’s delays in filing a witness statement.
The decision of the Criminal Court 4 of the Accra High Court to discharge Nyantakyi has forced the state to rush to another court to file the same charges agianst the former FIFA Council member.
It has now emerged that the former CAF 1st Vice President was discharged by the Accra High Court on March 11, 2021, after Justice Comfort Kwasiwor Tasiame ruled that delays by the state prosecutors denied Nyantakyi and Abdulai Alhassan justice.
In the fallout from the ‘Number 12’ documentary, which exposed corruption in Ghana football, Nyantakyi together with the Northern Regional Representative of the GFA, Abdulai Alhassan were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.
With the case being in court for more one year, the state’s lawyers struggled to file their witness statement against the ex-Ghana FA president which forced the judge to throw out the state’s case against the football official.
The judge rejected the request of the state for another adjournment as the charges of fraud and corruption had been consistently postponed to allow the prosecutors to file their witness statement.
“I think in this modern times there can be a way out for prosecution who has the whole state apparatus behind her to file a witness statement without us going and coming,” Justice Comfort Kwasiwor Tasiame said in her ruling.
“I think the prosecution may need a longer time to put their house in order. Justice delayed they say Justice denied. Justice is two-way traffic for prosecution and accused as well.
“It’s been one year since we set out to do case Management Conference but due to the excuse by the learned counsel for the Republic, that they have a witness statement to file, we kept adjourning this case till today.
“I think in this modern times there can be a way out for prosecution who has the whole state apparatus behind her to file a witness statement without us going and coming.
“As it stands now, I have no option other than to discharge accused persons. Any time prosecution is ready, they can do the needful. Accused persons are discharged.” Justice Tasiame concluded.
Following the ruling of the court, lawyers for the state led by Victoria Asieduaa, rushed to The Accra High Court’s Criminal Court 2 to have the case reheard in the new court.
Despite the counsel for Nyantakyi opposing the move to take the case to a new court, Justice Elfreda A. Dankyi of Court ruled that the case will be heard before her with the same charges.