Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzor, charged with abetment to commit treason, yesterday said that nobody can gag him for expressing his opinions on any issue.
The senior police officer who was detained in the custody of Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), since Monday, for his alleged involvement in a coup plot said “I would stand for this till the end. They cannot break me down at all and I am as strong as anything.”
“I have done nothing wrong. The President called upon us to be citizens, so when I expressed my opinion on a Whatssap platform unrelated to any alleged coup, nobody should bog me down,” he said.
ACP Agordzor said these after proceedings at the Kaneshie District Magistrate court presided over by Mrs Eleanor Kakra Bans Botwe.
He shook hands and gave warm embrace to family members, friends and sympathisers who were there to wish him well before he was driven away in the BNI vehicle.
Earlier before proceedings began, his defence team raised preliminary legal objection and argued that the district court does not have jurisdiction to deal with the matter.
Appearing before Mrs Botwe, Ms Hamdiya Mohammed who was led by Martin Kpebu and Issah Adam contended that pursuant to section 182 of Act 29 of 1960, the court only had jurisdiction to hear committal proceedings in matters involving first degree felonies.
She said the court cannot remand nor grant bail to the accused as it was not clothed with jurisdiction.
The counsel averred that the fact that persons were arraigned in the past did not make the practice right and asked the magistrate to decline jurisdiction.
Ms Mohammed told the court the defence was not served with the bill of indictment, adding that , ACP Agordzor is still a “suspect” and not accused.
She referred to the decided case of the Supreme Court in Martin Kpebu versus the Attorney General 2015-2016 Supreme Court Ghana Law Report (SCGLR).
In the said judgement, the counsel stated that the apex court held that a critical appraisal of articles 14, 19(1) and 2(c) would appear to confer power for jurisdiction to grant bail to the trial court.
She argued that the high court is the only court that can hear the matter and said the prosecution intentionally brought the accused to the district court to delay bail.
Should the court fail to decline jurisdiction, Ms Mohammed asked the court to set down the matter for constitutional interpretation of articles 130(2) and 14(3) of the 1992 Constitution.
The prosecutor, Assistant Superintend of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare said the court is the first point of call in such matters, noting that no issue had arisen for the defence to demand constitutional interpretation.
He said the submission by the defence was premature and an attempt to frustrate justice.
ASP Asare said the prosecution acted in accordance with law to arraign the accused within 48 hours after arrest.
The prosecutor told the court that the accused was served with the charge sheet which was registered at the registry of the court.
The case has been adjourned to November 8 for ruling on whether or not the court has jurisdiction to hear the matter.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA