Thursday, January 14, 2010 (Page 3 Lead)
AN Accra circuit court yesterday refused to stay proceedings in the matter in which two lawyers have been accused of forgery and defrauding by false pretences.
The lawyers, Joseph Kwame Owusu Asamani and Ekow Amua-Sekyi, will, by the refusal, have to answer criminal charges levelled against them.
Counsel for the two had filed an application for stay of proceedings in the trial on the grounds that cases between parties in the case were pending in different high courts and for that reason it would be prudent for the court to stay proceedings until those matters were determined.
However, the court, presided over by Mrs Justice Adwoa Bartels, dismissed the application on the grounds that parties in the cited cases were different from the parties in her court.
She indicated that she would give full reasons for her decision at the court sitting in Accra today.
The two were arraigned before the court on December 18, 2009 and were granted bail in the sum of GH¢80,000 each with two sureties each to be justified.
They pleaded not guilty to eight counts of conspiracy, forgery of judicial document and uttering forged document.
The two were arraigned at a time the Human Rights Division of the High Court had set January 22, 2010 to determine whether or not Mr Justice D.E.K. Daketsey, a circuit court judge, could continue sitting on the case against the two lawyers.
The lawyers had sought an interlocutory order restraining the circuit court judge from hearing the case until the final determination of the application currently before the Human Rights Court on the grounds that the judge was biased against them.
However, the Chief Justice assigned Mrs Cudjoe to the case, resulting in the arraignment of the two lawyers on December 18, 2009.
In the substantive matter, the two are alleged to have forged the judgement of a High Court judge, Mr Justice Ofori-Atta, compelling Mr Howard Eric Ewen, the Managing Director of Keegan Resources, to issue a cheque for $850,000 to Asamani.
When Asamani received the money, Amua-Sekyi signed as witness, prompting the complainant in the case, Mr Samuel Etroo, to lodge a complaint with the police.