Ghana: Jokers At Law… Court Mocks Fumbling Prosecution At Kennedy Agyapong Treason Trial

The usual somber atmosphere at the Supreme Court in Accra, gave way to hilarious laughter from both the bench and audience, when the state attorneys were a subject of mockery at the Supreme Court in the trial of Assin North Member of Parliament, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, in Accra, yesterday.

The panel members could not contain themselves with laughter when a junior state attorney stood fumbling before the bench, while a more senior colleague from the Attorney General's (A-G) Department sat watching the proceedings, without coming to the aid of the hapless junior lawyer.

The court, presided over by Justice Date-Baah, put Assistant State Attorney Kwame Amoako in a tight corner, as members of the panel quizzed him on a Certiorari application the state had filed, seeking to quash the bail granted the accused by the Fast Track Court (FTC).

As members of the bench bombarded the Assistant State Attorney without any acceptable response from the young state lawyer, they vented their spleen on the Principal State Attorney, Mr. Anthony Rexford Wiredu, who was the senior attorney leading a line-up of four other lawyers prosecuting the case on behalf of the state.

This had the entire court screeching with laughter, as attorneys from the A-G's Department tried rather desperately to explain their case, and justify their reasons for appealing to the highest court of the land to undertake a job they could easily do, by filing to discontinue the case at the High Court, if that was their demand.

According to the court, there had not been any precedent in the history of the Supreme Court, when a junior lawyer from the AG's Department addressed the court, with senior attorneys looking on.

The disposition of the members of the bench forced Principal State Attorney, Mr. Wiredu, to take over from Assistant State Attorney Amoako, when the state attempted to make a similar application against the Human Rights Court that granted an initial bail to the beleaguered MP for Assin-North.

The rest of the panel members at yesterday's trial were Justices Julius Ansah, Anin-Yeboah, Sule Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfoe.

Assistant State Attorney Amoako said the state had come before the Supreme Court by way of a Certiorari application to quash the decision of the FTC that granted bail to the embattled MP, since he had to be committed to a District Court to stand trial at the High Court.

However, the court questioned if it was not prudent for the state to file a nolle prosequi before the trial High Court to discontinue trial, and then start the process all over again, since the application they were currently standing on, could be granted at the discretion of the High Court.

On his part, Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, lead counsel for the MP, who is an interested party in the case, told the court that no committal proceeding was brought against his client when he was made to appear before the Fast Track High Court, adding that the Principal State Attorney never indicated that he was bringing committal proceedings against his client.

According to him, it was appropriate to come by a nolle prosequi application at the Fast Track Court to discontinue the case against his client.

He, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the application filed by the state, since it was unmeritorious, vexatious, and a total abuse of the court process. The court then fixed July 4, this year, to rule on the application.

Meanwhile, a similar application filed against the Human Rights Court had been adjourned sine die (indefinitely) after the court noticed that the response of the MP, who is an interested party in the case, had not been served on the Attorney General.

The firebrand New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Assin-North, is standing trial at the Fast Trial High Court on three counts of terrorism, treason felony, and attempted genocide, following a comment on Oman FM, an Accra-based private radio station, which he owned.

He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and he is currently on bail in the sum of GH¢200,000.


The Chronicles

State attorneys were a subject of mockery at the Ghanian Supreme Court in the trial of Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, in Accra.

A junior state attorney stood fumbling before the bench, while a more senior colleague from the Attorney General's (A-G) Department sat watching the proceedings.