A Bolgatanga Circuit Court has acquitted and discharged persons alleged to have been involved in the Shaanxi bribery case.
The accused persons were former Minister of State at the Presidency, Rockson Bukari, Charles Taleog Ndanbon and Maxwell Wooma, of the Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited and Suwaid Abdul-Mumin, the former personal assistant of the former minister.
Mr Bukari and the three others were accused of bribing an Investigative journalist with the EIB Network, Edward Adeti.
On April 2019, Mr Bukari resigned from his post after reports emerged that he had attempted to bribe a journalist to drop a story against Shaanxi mining firm.
On a leaked tape, the former Minister of State and his accomplices were heard trying to bribe the Starr FM journalist to ‘kill’ the story.
Mr Adeti alleged that he was bribed with a brand-new motorbike and cash of ¢5,000 to stop the story from being published.
But presiding over the case, Malcom Bedrah ruled that the motorbike and the money that was promised to Mr Adeti, as bribe be given to him.
The lawyers for the accused persons had filed a motion for submission of no case, on the grounds that the police prosecution team could not establish before the court that the complainant, Mr Adeti was a public officer.
During the court proceedings, the lawyer, Joseph Awakpaksa said the journalist is a friend of one of his clients and had made a request for a motorbike and cash to help him after he had performed some assignments for him.
He stressed that apart from the journalist working in a private business entity coupled with the fact that he allegedly appealed to Mr Ndanbon for support, it could not be seen as ground of justification of bribery.
The Judge then exonerated the all the accused the persons.
He explained that the journalist is not a public worker neither is his salary drawn from the Consolidated Fund, adding, “per the law, a journalist could not be portrayed as somebody being bribed.”