The Circuit Court at Bolgatanga has begun hearing a case against three persons for reportedly trying to bribe the EIB Network’s investigative journalist, Edward Adeti, to kill an investigative story about some secret meetings between officials of the Shaanxi Mining Ghana Ltd and a senior high court judge.
The accused persons— Charles Taleog Ndanbon, a business partner to the Chinese company, Maxwell Wooma, the company’s Public Relations Officer, and Suwaid Abdul-Mumin, a special aide to former Minister of State at the Presidency, Rockson Bukari— are standing trial for bribe giving and abetment.
The presiding judge, His Honour Malcolm Bedzrah, granted them bail in the sum of Gh¢9,000 with two sureties each on Monday December 9, 2019, and adjourned hearing to Thursday December 12, 2019, for Case Management Conference.
It will be recalled that news broke in December 2018 about the Chinese mining company presenting a cash of Gh¢5,000 and a brand-new motorbike as bribes to Adeti after he spotted its officials a number of times having secret meetings with Justice Jacob Boon at his Bolgatanga residence in the Upper East Region. Justice Boon was sitting on a case between the Shaanxi Mining Ghana Ltd and a rival mining firm, the Cassius Mining Company, at the High Court in Bolgatanga at the time.
Rockson Bukari pleaded with Adeti on Justice Boon’s behalf on the telephone to not expose the judge and promised to arrange for an inducement package from the Shaanxi Mining Ghana Ltd for the journalist to drop the story. Adeti received the bribe items (the cash and the bike) and took them to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) as evidence. He also made available to the state’s intelligence agency some tapes of his undercover work and went ahead to publish the investigative findings which public figures had sought to suppress.
Justice Boon recused himself from the case after the investigative findings were officially made known to him in his chambers on Monday December 17, 2018. Bukari resigned on Monday April 29, 2019, after tapes of his telephone conversations with Adeti had been released to the public and the journalist had publicly demanded the minister step down from cabinet power for his involvement in the bribery scandal. A barrage of threats trailed the life of the journalist after the minister’s resignation. He fled to Accra for safety and his family was forced to relocate after his house was burgled in Bolgatanga.
The second appearance of the Shaanxi officials at the Circuit Court in the regional capital this Thursday will coincide with the continued hearing of the case between Shaanxi and Cassius on the same day at the High Court Room Two in Bolgatanga presided over by Justice Asmah Akwasi Asiedu. The case was remitted to Justice Asiedu following the disqualification of Justice Boon, the region’s most senior judge, from the case over Adeti’s exposé.
Source: Daily Mail GH