Collins Dauda, one-time Minister for Water Resources, Works, and Housing, has been ordered by the Accra High Court to surrender his passport to the Registry of the court latest by 10:00am today.
This follows Mr. Daudu traveling to South Africa on Parliamentary duties without the notification and order of the court last week.
He said, whilst he applied to the court for the release of his passport, the travelling ID was rather long forgotten in his breast pocket after his previous travel, and therefore, could not deposit it at the Registry.
He apologised to Justice Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting as an additional High Court Judge, for his failure to deposit the passport.
Mr. Dauda’s explanation was in relation to questions posed to him by the presiding judge after presenting himself for proceedings yesterday.
The court wanted to find out how the Asutifi South Legislator traveled outside Ghana without a passport.
Hearing his explanation, the court inquired from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Attakora Obuobisa, the bail conditions of the first accused (A1) in the US$200 million Saglemi Housing project deal.
The court was concerned over whether A1’s previous bail condition did not require him to surrender his passport.
This was as the court admitted A1, together with four others (one currently dead), to their previous bail bond, giveng the fact that there was only one High Court, despite having several others in various locations.
“I deemed it necessary to deal with the issue of bail based upon the information provided by counsel that the accused persons were already admitted to bail.
“But the last two weeks, we noted the absence of A1 from proceedings without previously been excused as in the case of A3. And today he has told the court that he still has his passport although he thought he didn’t have it,” the judge stated.
Mrs. Oboubisa responded that A1 was granted self recognisance bail and was ordered to deposit his passport at the Registry of the court, but could apply for it whenever he wanted to travel.
She continued that because of A1’s parliamentary duties, he has been applying for the passport and his current travel to South Africa was not the first of its kind.
The DPP appealed to the court to order Mr. Dauda to surrender his passport to the court.
“Anytime he traveled he returned the passport to the Registrar… We were surprised when we came to court and he was absent without leave of the court. Today, he has explained that he inadvertently kept the passport instead of returning it to the Registrar as he was supposed to. We will be grateful if he returned it to the Registrar,” she submitted.
The one-time teacher and Minister has been accused together with Dr. Kweku Agyeman Mensah (A2), also a former Minister for Works and Housing, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubo (A3), a former Chief Director of the same Ministry, and Novi Tetteh Angelo (A5), the Chief Executive Officer and owner of Ridge Management Solutions Ghana Limited.
The deceased is Andrew Clocanas, Executive Chairman of Construtora OAS Ghana Limited.
Alhaji Collins Dauda and three others are facing 70 charges of wilfully causing financial loss to the state, issuing false certificate contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Government Contracts (Protection) Act, 1979, AFRCD 58 and dishonestly causing loss to public property contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Public Protection Act 1977 (SMCD) 140 and intentionally misapplying public property.
The substantive case
Thaddeus Sory, Counsel for A1, is still cross examining the prosecution’s first witness (PW1), Rev. Stephen Yaw Osei, Acting Chief Director of the Minister for Water Resources, Works, and Housing.