The Accra Circuit Court has ordered state prosecutors to produce two witnesses today to testify in the trial of a musician who is on remand for allegedly possessing a quantity of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp.
According to the court, failure of the prosecution to produce the two policemen who arrested the accused on August 4, 2015 would compel it to “take any decision, including discharging the accused”.
“I am committed to sticking to the selected dates for the trial and, to be honest, you must be ready for the trial to commence, whether prosecution witnesses are ready or not.
“As a last chance, you have two options to put the two arresting officers in the box by August 27, 2015, else I will not hesitate at all to take any decision,” the judge, Mr Aboagye Tandoh, said. Accused
The accused, Ekow Micah, is before the court for allegedly possessing a quantity of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp.
He has been charged with possessing narcotic drugs. He has pleaded not guilty. Continued delay
At yesterday’s proceedings, the prosecution, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Moses Atibilla, had told the court that the two policemen whom he did not name would not be able to show up.
He had earlier informed the court that one of the policemen, who he claimed was on his way to the court from the Airport Police Station, had reached the 37 Military Hospital.
But he later told the court that the investigator had informed him that the policeman had been deployed to an assignment and would not be able to make it to the court, while the other policeman was on duty in the northern part of the country.
He, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the trial to today to allow him time to produce the two witnesses.
However, the court did not take kindly to those submissions and ordered the prosecution to put the investigator in the box to testify in the case today.
“If the two arresting officers are not ready, you should put the investigator in the box tomorrow since he is the one who investigated the case,” the trial judge said.
Reasons for resentment
At the last sitting on August 21, 2015, the court adjourned the hearing of the case after both the prosecution and counsel for the accused person, Mr John David Percey, had agreed on August 24, 26 and 27, this year, as the next hearing dates.
It turned down the request of defence counsel, who prayed the court to adjourn the trial for two weeks to enable him to have adequate conference with his client.
The judge had insisted that the selected adjournment dates for hearing must be stuck to.
However, when the case was called last Monday, August 24, Mr Atibilla was unavailable and another prosecutor, Inspector Edward Afful, held brief for him.
Inspector Afful informed the court that Mr Atibilla had to attend to an emergency, hence his inability to be present in court.
He, however, assured the court that Mr Atibilla would be available today to produce the two arresting officers. Background
The accused person, according to the prosecution, is a resident of Ogbojo, near Kokrobitey in Accra.
On August 4, this year, he was arrested by the Airport Police over an alleged extortion case currently under investigations.
According to the prosecution, the following day the police and the accused person visited his house to conduct a search and during the search, a quantity of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp was found concealed in the accused person’s backpack.