Prosecutors are still pushing every legal means to have access to Senator Varney Sherman’s bank statements. This was demonstrated yesterday when they asked Criminal Court ‘C,’ where the Senator is expected to stand trial on the Global Witness bribery scandal, to do so.
Initially, prosecutors had asked another court, Criminal Court ‘A,’ which indicted Sherman and others in the Global Witness bribery scandal, to order several banking institutions, including Ecobank, where Senator Sherman is a customer, to produce his bank statements, which Judge Kontoe accepted and acted upon.
Though Criminal Court ‘A’ granted the prosecutors’ request, Sherman’s legal team has a contrary view, making a case against Judge Boimah Kontoe at the Supreme Court, and the matter is still pending. The defense’s argument at the time was that there was no case before that court for Judge Kontoe to issue such a directive to the banking institutions to surrender their client’s bank accounts to prosecutors.
Although the matter is pending before the Supreme Court, prosecutors again asked Criminal Court ‘C,’ the court that authorized Sherman’s arrest, to compel the banks to produce his accounts dated from January 2011 to September 2011.
At yesterday’s hearing on the merits and demerits of the prosecutors’ request, state lawyers argued that since the court is now handling the matter, based on the issuance of its writ of arrest and subsequent indictment of Sherman and others, it would be appropriate for the court to ask the banks to submit Sherman’s bank accounts to help with their evidence.
In counter argument, the defense team said there was no reason for Criminal Court ‘C’ to do so, because the matter was still before the Supreme Court and “as such, Judge Emery Paye should not do so, as doing so would mean you are undermining the matter that is pending before the Supreme Court.”
Immediately after listening to the arguments, Judge Paye reserved ruling. “I reserve ruling into the matter, and I would deliver it anytime next week,” the Criminal Court Judge told the parties.