A Former Deputy Attorney-General under the NDC, Mr. Martin Amidu has responded to allegations by Frank Benneh that the P/NDC engaged in drug deals while in office.
He said the failure of the NPP government to ensure the sentencing of Benneh, who was convicted under the NDC of drug related offences, could not have been a coincidence.
These were contained in a press statement issued in Accra on Thursday.
Read below the full statement:
PRESS STATEMENT BY MARTIN AMIDU, FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY-GENERAL UNDER THE PNDC, AND NDC GOVERNMENTS OF GHANA – RE: BENNEH REVEALS NDC COCAINE SCANDAL
On 1 December 2008 I read on the ghanaweb.com/Ghana Home Page/News Achieves/ a news story titled Benneh Reveals NDC cocaine scandal. Frank Benneh was alleged to have made one of his statements “in an address to several thousands of New Patriotic Party (NPP) sympathizers at a rally organized by the Movement for Effective Leadership.” The leader of the movement we are told by the publication is Frances Asiam. Frances Asiam everybody knows is now a leading member of the NPP who defected from the NDC to the DFP and recently to the NPP to support Nana Akufu-Addo’s candidature to be President of Ghana.
I was Deputy Attorney-General for upward of four years under the PNDC Government and Deputy Attorney-General throughout the regime of the NDC. Between June 1998 and December 2000 I led a team of Attorneys that prosecuted and convicted Frank Benneh in the Regional Tribunal, Accra on five counts of offences relating to dealing in narcotic drugs. I am therefore surprised that the NPP, the NPP Government or any of its associates would permit Frank Benneh, a convicted criminal for dealing in narcotic drugs to use its platform to perjury himself at such a public event. Accordingly, I find it my public duty to respond to Frank Benneh’s perjury and to set the record straight in relation to his trial and conviction for the several counts of dealing in narcotic drugs.
Frank Benneh was convicted by a majority of the Tribunal of the offences of drug dealing with the Chairman of the Tribunal dissenting. Consequently when he gave notice of appealing his conviction the court had no option than to grant him bail pending his appeal as enjoined by section 26 (2) of the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459). The appeal of Frank Benneh against his conviction was, therefore, pending at the time the NDC Government left office after the elections of 2000. The NPP Government which took over the government of Ghana has since failed or refused to pursue the sentencing of the convict, Frank Benneh.
It is a notorious fact of general public knowledge that when the NPP assumed the government of Ghana its first Attorney-General was Nana Akufo-Addo who is now seeking to be elected the President of Ghana in the 2008 elections, in a few days time. He failed or refused to have the appeal struck out or heard in this case of grave importance for the integrity of the Republic of Ghana. Frank Benneh definitely had no interest to pursue the appeal as he was on bail and had nothing to loose.
It is my contention that the only reasonable ground on which the NPP Government and Nana Akufo-Addo as Attorney-General were disinterested in having the appeal struck out or heard by the Court of Appeal is that their interest in the Frank Benneh case coincided with the interest of Frank Benneh. Be that as it may, Frank Benneh is still a person convicted of drug dealing albeit without having been sentenced. The allegation that Nana Akufo-Addo entered a nolle prosequi for Fank Benneh to stop the appeal cannot be true and lawful because the Attorney-General has not got such a power under section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1960 (Act 30) (now called Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960) after the verdict or judgment of the court (i.e. the after conviction).
The fact that Frank Benneh addressed his perjury to thousands of NPP sympathizers at a rally organized by the Movement for Effective Leadership set up by Frances Asiam, to support the candidature of Nana Akufo-Addo for election to the office of President of Ghana convinces me, now more than ever before, that the failure of the NPP Government and Nana Akufo-Addo to have Frank Benneh sentenced for his crimes was not accidental.
It is amazing that the NPP Government could not prove to the good people of Ghana through the due process of law in the eight years it has been in office the complicity of the Government of the PNDC and the NDC in any narcotic drug dealing anywhere in the world. In my opinion the use of Frank Benneh, a convicted drug dealer by a court of competent jurisdiction under the laws of Ghana, to perjure himself for purposes of an election as reported in the media is proof beyond any reasonable doubt, if proof be needed, that the NPP Government’s interest in drug dealings coincides with that of Frank Benneh. It is only this coincidence of interest that has blinded the NPP Government and its associates into using this convicted drug dealer to commit perjury by accusing the PNDC or NDC Government of any drug dealing, contrary to his testimony on oath at his trial.
It is clear from the certified true copies of the proceedings of the court that Frank Benneh denied on oath that he ever assisted anybody to deal in narcotic drugs or has been a drug dealer himself. Frank Benneh knows that what he is now saying or had been coached to say at the NPP or its associates’ political platform are lies that is why he did not mention the name of any PNDC or NDC official as having been involved with him in his self confessed criminal drug activities.
The impression I formed from reading the publication under reference is that the NPP and its Government encouraged and prodded Frank Benneh, a convicted drug dealer, to commit the offence of perjury in his address to thousands of its sympathizers at its associate’s rally. This fact is, in my view, more than sufficient evidence that proves that the NPP Governments is a government that encourages citizens to indulge in, deal in, and traffic in narcotic drugs. This why the only saving grace for this Republic is for the good people of Ghana to change the NPP Government by voting into office Professor John Evans Atta Mills and the NDC for a better Ghana on 7 December 2008.
Formerly Deputy Attorney-General (PNDC & NDC Governments)