Victoria Lakshmi Hamah

The Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah Committee, set up by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood to probe comments made by Victoria Lakshmi Hamah, former Deputy Minister of Communications in the leaked tape recording otherwise known as VikiLeaks, regarding the election petition, is expected to begin its sitting today.

The high-powered committee, which has two weeks to submit its report after first sitting, is expecting the former Deputy Minister to make an appearance today, according a letter of invitation sent to her, dated November 25, 2013 and signed by the Judicial Secretary Justice B. Poku-Acheampong, who is also secretary to the committee.

Ms Hamah is expected to face the Justice Date-Bah Committee in-camera at the conference room of the Judicial Service.

However, information filtering through to the DAILY GUIDE news desk at press time last night indicated that Ms Hamah might ask for a one-week extension to prepare adequately before facing the committee.

According to sources close to the former Deputy Minister, a letter asking for the extension might be delivered to Justice Poku-Acheampong this morning, except if there is a change of mind on the part of Ms Hamah, who has come under pressure from some strong forces in the party.

The nine-member committee was  constituted by Chief Justice Georgina Wood to investigate allegations that the Supreme Court Justices who sat on the just-ended Presidential Election Petition might have been compromised as Victoria Hamah indicated in the leaked tape.

The sacked former Deputy Minister has been given the option of facing the committee with her lawyers if she so wishes.

?You are at liberty to attend the meeting with Counsel of your choice and also to come along with any documents relevant to the case,? the letter stated.

However, DAILY GUIDE has learnt that Vicky will go without a lawyer, as she believes she is capable of defending herself.

The high profile investigation was initiated when the former Deputy Minister was heard on the leaked tape, commenting about the victory of President John Dramani Mahama in the landmark election petition.

?? I learnt even before the [Supreme Court] verdict, Nana [Oye Lithur] was with the Justices and all that. You don?t know the role she has played for us to win the court case?,? the beleaguered former deputy Communications Minister was heard saying on the tape.

The election petition sent to court by the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and two others, challenged the legitimacy of the victory of President John Dramani Mahama in the December 2012 Presidential election.

On November 18, 2012, the Judicial Secretary wrote to the NPP General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie aka Sir John informing him that a formal enquiry was set in motion in reaction to his petition to the CJ.

Sir John had filed a petition urging the CJ to unravel the truth with regard to the allegations.

Indictment

In the tape, Victoria Hamah specifically indicated that a night before the Supreme Court panel, headed by Justice William Atuguba, delivered its verdict, the Minister of Children, Gender and Social Protection, Nana Oye-Lithur went to ?see? some of the Justices.

Incidentally, Mrs. Oye-Lithur is the wife of President Mahama?s lawyer (Tony Lithur) in the election petition and had denied the allegation.

The CJ took the matter seriously, ordering a crack committee of Judicial Council members to investigate the matter.

The committee members include Nana Dr. S.K.B Asante, the Chief of Asokore in the Ashanti Region, who is also a legal luminary and an international arbitrator; the Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong; Frank Beecham, a legal practitioner and the former President of the Ghana Bar Association.

Others are Ms. Joyce N.N Oku, a member of the Council for Law Reporting, Mrs. Eileen Odartei ? Laryea, the President?s nominee on the Judicial Council and the Judicial Secretary, Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong.

Nene A. O. Amegatcher, president of the Ghana Bar Association has also been ?co-opted? to serve on the committee.

 By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran

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