MP Clashes With Court Bailiff In Stealing Case

There was drama at Goaso last Thursday when the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo North Constituency of the Brong Ahafo Region, Robert Sarfo Mensah, clashed with a bailiff who was billed to serve him with a writ to appear before an Appeal Court. He had been charged with stealing some items belonging to the Asunafo Municipal Assembly and causing financial loss to the state. In the full glare of numerous onlookers on the high street of Goaso, on December 29,2011, at about 12:15p. m, the MP picked the summons that had been put in his car, and threw it away, insisting that the writ order should be served on the Speaker of Parliament and sped off. That was after he had declined to collect the document from the bailiff, Kwaku Fosu, who managed to put it in his car which he had parked by the road side. The MP through his lawyer, had made a submission of “no case” after the prosecution at a Goaso Circuit court had established a prima facie case against him, and the said submission was over-ruled by the judge, Justice Kwame Osei Gyamfi. The MP is to open his defence. However, a Sunyani High Court, presided over by Justice F. K Poku, following an appeal, upheld the submission of “no case” which compelled the Attorney General's Department to appeal against the ruling at the Appeals Court in Kumasi, to set aside the judgment, for which the MP was being served. In a chat with the Ghanaian Times, Mr. Fosu alleged that the MP had played hide-and-seek for many months and when he learnt of his presence at Goaso, he decided to serve him with the writ. He said when the MP told him that he should rather serve it on the Speaker of Parliament, he made him aware that the case before the court was titled, “The Republic Versus Robert Sarfo Mensah” and that he should be served not the Speaker of Parliament. “There should be a proof of service, hence I put the document in his car, and I have also made entry that he had been served to appear before the Appeals Court”, the bailiff said. Mr Sarfo Mensah had been charged with two counts of stealing and causing financial loss to the state at the Goaso Circuit Court. The prosecution told the court that on December 22, 2008, 100 street lights and 200 bolt and nuts were supplied to the Asunafo North Municipal Assembly by the Volta River Authority (VRA) for Self-Help Electrification Project (SHEP). On January 6, 2010 and February 6, 2010 respectively, the same quantity of items were supplied again to the assembly, with all the items valued at GH˘117,330. 00. According to the prosecution the consignments were allegedly received by the MP though they were to be supplied to the Assembly's stores for redistribution to the communities. The prosecution said the assembly which did not know of the existence of the consignments, applied to the VRA for consideration and was told that the items had been supplied and were received by the MP. A report was made to the police and the MP was arrested and according to the prosecution, he admitted in his caution statement that he received the items in his own name, but not in the assembly's name and since it was in the heat of the election, he distributed them to some communities in the municipality.