SC: Investigate why Ofosu Ampofo failed to appear in court

The Supreme Court yesterday directed that appropriate measures be taken to unravel why a bailiff could not serve hearing notice on Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Mr Ampofo who is challenging the adoption of a witness statement by the High Court, in the case in which he and another NDC executive were standing trial for conspiracy to commit crime was absent from proceedings at the Supreme Court yesterday.

When the case was called, the prosecutor, Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution told the court presided over by the Acting Chief Justice, Justice Jones Dotse that she was told Mr Ampofo, the applicant was not served with the hearing notice.

The case was adjourned till further notice.

Mr Ampofo and Mr Kweku Boahen, a Deputy Communications Officer of the NDC, have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and harm to public officer.

Messrs Ampofo and Boahen, have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are currently on GH₵100,000 bail.

Their trial is before a Commercial High Court presided over by Justice Samuel Asiedu, a Court of Appeal Judge, sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge.

Benjamin Osei Ampofo Adjei, a witness in the case had earlier told the High Court that the police brought him a statement which he signed without reading it.

When he made his first appearance in 2019, the witness, a broadcast journalist at the Multimedia Group Limited, acknowledged the signature on the witness statement but said it was the first time reading the statement.

Following that, counsel for the NDC Chairman, Mr Tony Lithur asked the court to expunge the statement from the record.

The prosecutor objected the prayer by the defence counsel seeking the court to have the witness statement taken off the record.

Since the adoption of the witness statement by the High Court, the defence had filed a number of applications before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, all which had been dismissed.

 On March 12, 2020, Mr Adjei told the court that he stood by his witness statement.

The witness is the journalist who interviewed Mr Boahen on an alleged leaked audio in which the Chairman of the NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo was heard allegedly urging party members to attack the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and Chairman of the National Peace Council.

Mr Adjei had said in his evidence in chief that he heard a number of radio stations playing the recording in which Mr Boahen allegedly said the NDC was behind its chairman.

The facts are that the accused were arraigned on April 16,2020 for allegedly inciting communicators of the party to attack the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, and the chairman of the National Peace Council.

Mr Tony Lithur, counsel for Mr Ampofo, told the court that his client could not speak about the alleged leaked tape because it was doctored.

He said the invasion of his client’s privacy relates to the constitutional breach of Mr Ampofo’s rights.

Dr Bamba said his client denied the charges levelled against him, and added that Mr Boahen was innocent until proven guilty by the court.

He contended that the charges against the Deputy Communications Officer of the NDC were not grounded in law.

Miss Gloria Akuffo, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, who read the charges against the accused in April, 2019, said Mr Boahen faces only a charge of conspiracy to cause harm, while his colleague was charged with all the three counts.


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