Home News How/why Tsatsu Tsikata rejected former President Kufuor’s pardon

How/why Tsatsu Tsikata rejected former President Kufuor’s pardon

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Tsatsu Tsikata, former CEO of GNPC has recalled how he rejected a presidential pardon by former President John Agyekum Kufuor on his last day as President of Ghana.

Tsikata explained to KSM on the KSM show broadcast Tuesday that he wanted to pursue justice in the court of law to be cleared from the charge of wilfully causing financial loss to the state.

Tsikata wrote a two-page letter to President Kufuor on January 6, 2009, at a time he had suffered an asthmatic attack in prison and had been admitted at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, rejecting the presidential pardon.

“I have never sought, and I do not need your pretence of mercy. Justice is my quest and I will pursue this quest in accordance with the constitution and laws of Ghana,” Tsikata wrote in ink.

“Your apparent exercise of the presidential prerogative of mercy in respect of a conviction and imprisonment which you were the prime mover of is the height of hypocrisy.”

He continued: “The desecration of justice that was perpetrated against me in the Fast-Track High Court on June 8, 2008, was at your instance, initiated in 2001 with your first Attorney-General, Nana Akufo-Addo. Nothing can divert attention from the responsibilities of the judges before whom my appeal and other legal processes are currently pending concerning my case.

Indeed, your action in these final hours of your administration improperly interferes with these judicial processes and is clearly in bad faith. Your participation, indeed, your leading role in desecrating justice, not only in relation to me but in many other cases, are part of your legacy as President of Ghana,” he stressed.

Quoting Psalm 94 verse 15, Tsikata further told Kufuor: “Justice will again be found in the courts, and all righteous people will support it.”

Thirteen years on, Tsatsu Tsikata recalls to KSM: “I think I said it nicely. I wrote him a letter on my hospital [bed] and I said I will not accept his pardon; and I wouldn’t accept it. By then, I already had an appeal pending against the decision that had been taken. I wanted to be vindicated, not pardoned. When you are pardoned it means that your conviction still stands but the penalty has been wiped away.”

After eight years of legal battle, Tsatsu Tsikata was cleared of the charges and the conviction reversed unanimously by the Court of Appeal, which acquitted and discharged him.

Justice Dennis Adjei said there was a miscarriage of justice when an Accra Fast Track High Court on June 18, 2008, found him guilty on three counts of wilfully causing financial loss of GH¢230,000 to the state and another count of misapplying public property.

Expressing delight at the overturned verdict, Tsikata quoted Psalm 94:15 “Justice will again be found in the courts, and all righteous people will support it ” and emphasised that indeed “justice has been found in the courts”.