A Bolgatanga Circuit Court in the Upper East Region has thrown out all allegations on technical grounds brought before it by EIB reporter Edward Adeti on bribery against three accused persons.
The accused persons are ; Mr. Charles Taleog Ndanbon, Maxwell Wooma both staff of Shaanxi mining company and Suwaid Abdul-Mumin, an aid to the then regional minister Rockson Bukari.
The court presided by His Honor ,Malcom Bedzra upheld that, the complainant (Edward Adeti) could not produce incontrovertible evidence through the state prosecutor to back his claims that , he was bribed to drop a story under investigation.
The judge indicated in his submission that , the complainant was not a public officer, and thus, could therefore not be bribed as the state had charged the three private business men.
The court has therefore acquitted and discharged the accused persons; Mr. Charles Taleog Ndanbon, Maxwell Wooma and Suwaid Abdul-Mumin and directed that, the motorbike and sum cash of GHC5,000 tendered in as exhibits for the bribery be given to Edward Adeti.
It will be recalled that Edward Adeti reported to investigative bodies that some “influential people in society “ attempted to coerce him to drop a story he was investigating about Chinese Mining firm , Shanxi.
He took up a case before a court on concession ownership involving two mining companies operating within the Talensi District ; Cassius and Shanxi mining.
But his spotlight was on Shanxi Mining Company where he trailed every step of its officials representing the case in court leaving out Cassius Mining from his investigations.
The Journalist alleged in one of his reports that, some officials of the company led by the Public Relations Officer ,Maxwell Wooma were captured visiting the Presiding Judge of the High court ,His Lordship, Justice Jacob Boone at his residence which in his view ,was in contravention to the ethics of Judges in the country.
He attempted creating doubts on the neutrality of the Judge in the pending case.
This led to the judge recusing himself from the case and a committee constituted to probe into the report of a possible inducement of the judge to rule in favor of Shanxi Mining Company.
However, when the committee investigating the matter called on the reporter to produce his evidence, it is on record that Edward Adeti never showed up to tender his evidence.
The case was then dismissed and the Judge cleared of involving in any wrong doing.
The case became murkier when leaked audios of private conversations between Mr. Adeti and former Upper East Regional Minister,Rockson Bukari was heard begging him to thread cautiously in his reportage.
These audios were said to have been sent to Cassius Mining firm ,a party to the case in court by the reporter.
This led to Mr. Bukari losing his position as a Minister of State at the Presidency as the case took a political twist.
He further alleged that , one of the Directors of Shanxi Mining Company , Charles Ndabon “attempted bribing “ him with a motorbike and a cash sum of Ghs5,000 to ‘kill’ the story with support from the PRO of the Company ,Maxwell Wooma and Special Aide to Rockson Bukari Suwaid Mumuni as accomplice of the bribe agenda.
He then reported to all security agencies including the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and Ghana Police Service to take up the matter.
The accused persons were then charged as follows ; Abetment of crime to wit giving bribe contrary to section 20 and 252 of the Criminal Offences Act ,1960(Act 29) and Giving Bribe contrary to section 252 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960(Act 29).
The particulars of offences were that, Maxwell Wooma who is a PRO to Shanxi and Suwaid Abdul-Mumin , Special Aide to then Upper East Regional Minister , Rockson Bukari during the month of November 2018, at Bolgatanga Circuit and within one Charles Teleog Ndanbon to commit crime to wit Giving Bribe.
But following cross examination and presentation of arguments by both the State Prosecutor and Edward Adeti , Counsels for the accused ,filed a submission of no case stating that ;
“ A submission that there is no case to answer may properly be made and upheld : when there has been no evidence to prove an essential element in the alleged offence and when the evidence adduced by the prosecution has been so discredited as a result of cross-examination is so manifestly unreliable that no reasonable tribunal could safely convict upon it”.
So upon perusal of the submission filed by lawyers of the accused standing trial on grounds of giving bribes and abetting crime , the Bolgatanga Circuit Court presided over by His Honor ,Malcom Bedzra upheld their application and acquitted and discharged all three accused persons.
He noted that the facts adduced were not substantial to qualify for a crime of bribe but a gift since the receiver (Edward Adeti) did not fall under the category of a public worker under Article 295 of the 1992 Constitution.