The Bolgatanga Circuit Court in the Upper East Region presided over by His Honour Malcom Bedzra on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, acquitted and discharged three (3) accused persons of allegedly bribing EIB Network reporter Edward Adet not to publish a story against Shaanxi Mining company.
The trio; Mr. Charles Taleog Ndanbon and Maxwell Wooma both staff of Shaanxi mining company and Suwaid Abdul-Mumin, aid to the then Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari were brought before the court for allegedly bribing Edward Adeti, with a motorbike and GHS5,000.00 to drop a story against some activities of Shaanxi.
They were standing trial for bribery and abetment of crime.
But after cross-examination and presentation of facts 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”.
The presiding judge, His Honour, Malcom Bedzra upheld their application and acquitted and discharged all the three accused persons.
He explained that, the complainant [Edward Adeti] could not adduce substantial facts to prove the guilt of the accused persons.
He indicated that, the complainant [Edward Adeti] was not a public officer, and thus, could not be bribed by the accused persons as charged by the state prosecutor.
The court also directed that, the motorbike and sum cash of GHC5,000 tendered in as exhibits for the bribery case be given to Edward Adeti.
The EIB Network reporter Edward Adeti reported to investigative bodies that some “influential people in society “ attempted to bribe him to drop a story he was investigating about Shaanxi Mining Company in Gbane in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.
He alleged 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, an act he claimed was unethical of Judges.
This led to the judge recusing himself from the case and a committee constituted to probe the report of a possible inducement of the judge to rule in favour of Shaanxi Mining Company.
However, when the committee investigating the matter called on the reporter to produce his evidence, Mr. Edward Adeti never showed up to tender his evidence.
The case was dismissed and the Judge cleared of any wrongdoing.
There was also another leaked audios of a private conversation between Mr. Adeti and former Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari, where the Minister was heard pleading with him to tread cautiously in his reportage.
This led to Mr. Bukari losing his position as a Minister of State at the Presidency as the case took a political twist.
Mr. Adeti further alleged that, one of the Directors of Shaanxi 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 an accomplice of the bribery agenda.
He then reported the case to the 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).