Court directs Attorney-General to file witness statements within a week in Ofosu Ampofo case
An Accra High Court on Friday directed the Attorney General (AG) to file the witness statement of the second prosecution witness in the trial of Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and Mr Anthony Kwaku Boahen by June 19, 2020.
This followed an application to the court by Mr Ashong Okai, a Senior State Attorney for the prosecution to be given sometime to file the statements.
Meanwhile the accused are challenging the constitutionality of the tendering in of some documents in the trial which included an audio tape at the Supreme Court.
Mr Tony Lithur, counsel for Mr Ofosu-Ampofo told the Court that he would seek an earlier date at the Supreme Court for the hearing of that application on the tendered evidence.
The Court presided over by Justice Samuel K. Asiedu has scheduled the trial dates to July 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17, 2020.
Earlier, Counsel for Mr Ofosu Ampofo, who is also the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress applied for a stay of proceedings but the Court refused, but counsel went ahead to appeal the refusal at the Court of Appeal but later withdrew that appeal before proceeding to the Supreme Court.
The lawyer had earlier cited Rule 27, of which Justice Asiedu in his ruling, said that though it had become a common practice for lawyers to cite Rule 27 as their authority when applying for stay of proceedings.
He said however that the inherent power to stay proceedings applies to civil cases not criminal proceedings, adding that Rule 27 does not apply in criminal cases but falls under part two of the rules to civil cases brought before the Court of Appeal.
Mr Lithur told the Court that the trial could only proceed if the automatic seven days pending the appeal to quash the admission of the witness statement by the Court had elapsed.
The AG said the first prosecution witness in his evidence-in-chief identified his signature on the witness statement and did not object to his witness statement during the Case Management Conference stage.
Mr Ampofo and Mr Boahen, Deputy Communications Director, of the party are facing charges including, conspiracy to cause harm and assault on Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council and Madam Jean Mensa, the Electoral Commission chairperson.
They are on a GH¢100,000.00 bail each with a surety each.
It would be recalled that on January 31, 2019, a by-election was conducted at the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency as a result of the demise of its Member of Parliament.
Prosecution said there were disturbances in the course of the elections and on February 3, Mr Ofosu-Ampofo met the Party’s Communications Directors at its Headquarters located at Adabraka, a suburb of Accra.
The Prosecution said the meeting was recorded of which on that audio tape which was circulated later in a cross-section of the media, contained a set-up of a road-map of criminal activities targeted at the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Chairman of the National Peace Council.
Prosecution said the tape was intercepted by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Service.
The Prosecution said Mr Ofosu Ampofo on the audio also incited the communicators of the Party to molest both the EC and Peace Council Chairpersons.
The prosecution said that the orchestrated electoral violence plot was going to be attributed to the New Patriotic Party, which is the ruling Party.