Ghana Bar Association
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has described as unfortunate the circumstances leading to the release of the eight members of the Delta Force who were standing trial for invading a courtroom in Kumasi to free 13 of their colleagues.
The GBA said it was disturbed and was hopeful the discharge of the eight accused persons would not signify an end to the matter.
According to the association, justice would not be served if the discharge of the eight ended the matter.
A Kumasi circuit court, presided over by Patricia Amponsah, on Wednesday discharged the accused persons for want of prosecution; and the GBA statement is sequel to the decision.
The police prosecutor said there was no evidence to convict the eight suspects based on the advice by the Attorney General’s Department.
According to the state attorney in Kumasi, the police failed to do a thorough investigation on the matter and only went round arresting people on the day of the court invasion without any intelligence.
She also indicated that neither the lawyers nor police personnel on duty on the day of the attack, could identify the suspects charged for invading the court.
The prosecutor, ACP Okyere Darko, noted that the police, after investigation, could not find evidence to support the charges which were leveled against the eight people.
After going through the docket, Marie Louise-Simmons, the Senior State Attorney, standing in for the Chief State Attorney, wrote, “I therefore advise that the charges of disturbance of court and resisting arrest & rescue against the suspects must be dropped for lack of evidence to prosecute.”
The statement indicated, “From the docket, the incident occurred inside the KMA Circuit Court Room. The evidence suggests that it was a very busy Court that day. However, only two policemen being the CWO [Court Warrant Officer] in the Court were made to volunteer witness statements.”
But the GBA in a statement jointly signed by its National President and Secretary, Benson Nutsukpui and Justin Amenuvor respectively, said the police must thoroughly investigate the matter.
“The Bar calls on the Ghana Police Service to thoroughly investigate the matter in its entirety. We call upon the police to interview the court officials, lawyers and litigants who were in court on the day in order to bring the perpetrators to justice,” it charged.
The GBA reiterated its earlier call to ensure that all persons who played any role in the attack on the court are arrested, duly charged and prosecuted.
The group noted that it is a threat to the rule of law if the impression is created that persons who engage in lawless acts can escape the arm of the law.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson