Tsatsu Tsikata, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), 14 years ago, wrote a letter to then President John Agyekum Kufuor on the former president’s last day in office.
The letter was written form Tsikata’s hospital bed at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and it contained a rejection of an offer for Tsikata to return home after treatment instead of returning to prison.
Tsikata’s two-paged letter dated January 6, 2009, rejected a presidential pardon Kufuor had offered him as part of his presidential prerogative of mercy.
The renowned lawyer’s reason for rejecting the offer was 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.
“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,” parts of his letter read.
It explained how government had literally conspired through now President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the Attorney General at the time the charges were initially brought against him, to convict him at all costs for political reasons.
“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,” it added
Read Tsatsu’s full letter rejecting the presidential pardon
Dear President Kufuor,
An official from the Prisons Headquarters came to the Korle Bu Hospital Cardiothoracic Centre earlier today to inform me that he had a warrant under your hand granting me a pardon.
I was not allowed a copy of your document. 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. I have never sought, and I do not need, your pretense of mercy.
Justice is my quest and I will pursue this quest in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Ghana.
The desecration of justice that was perpetrated against me in the Fast Track High Court on June 18th 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. But I am convinced that these bad examples will not endure as part of our country’s future.
Psalm 94 verse 15 says prophetically: “justice will again be found in the courts, and all righteous people will support it.”
H.E President J.A Kufuor
Tsatsu acquitted and discharged by Court of Appeal
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.
In a 2021 interview with KSM, he said of the saga: “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.”
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”.