Tema High Court grants bail to Barker-Vormawor, but he is still in custody

Oliver Barker-Vormawor

Even though, the Tema High Court presided over by Justice Daniel Mensah, has granted bail to Oliver Mawuse Barkar-Vormawor, a convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement with a sum of GH¢2 million with two sureties, he is still in police custody.

A report by the graphiconline, citing a police statement Wednesday evening said the police in pursuant to the orders of the court, took the accused to the court to execute the bail, but the Registrar of the court, Mr Sebastian A. Agbo informed the police, that the document covering the landed property submitted to the court by one of the sureties had been presented to the Greater Accra Regional Lands Commission for verification and the court was still waiting for feedback from the Lands Commission.

The Registrar therefore, told the police he was unable to proceed with the execution of the bail until he received feedback from the Commission.

The police, therefore, took the accused back to police cells while it awaits the High Court Registrar’s directive.

One of the two sureties is to deposit documents of a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court. In addition, Barker-Vormawor’s passport is still to be in the possession of the prosecution, while he is required to report himself to the police once a week on a day to be nominated by the investigators.

Delivering the ruling on the bail application pending trial put before the Court by lawyers of Barker-Vormawor, the presiding judge said having listened to arguments from both prosecution and accused’s counsel, he was entitled to bail as enshrined in Article 14 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, which guaranteed the liberty of all, and as stated by the Supreme Court in the Martin Kpebu case.

Justice Mensah stated that looking at the charge of treason felony leveled against him, and the severity of the punishment, the accused still came to Ghana after his coup post on his Facebook page while he was in the United Kingdom, meaning he would not run away from the trial.

He added that the accused could not be taken as someone who was a flight risk as stated by the prosecution in their opposition, explaining that, with the passport of Barker-Vormawor being in the hands of the police, coupled with the fact that he was a PhD student of Cambridge University, he was not likely to jump bail.

The judge said he was unable to accept the claims from the prosecution that the accused applicant had no place of abode, stating that his lawyers had responded that he took the police to his residence for a search, as demanded by a search warrant issued by the Ashaiman District Court.

He further stated that the Attorney-General’s office was unable to prove that the three houses they mentioned that the accused sent them to were not a place he resided whenever he was in Ghana.

Prior to setting of the conditions of the bail, Ms Hilda Craig, Senior State Attorney, prayed the court to set in a condition that would compel him to appear in court when the need be, suggesting that the bail should be justified due to the seriousness of the offence and the severity of the punishment.

Mr Akoto Ampaw, Lead Counsel for the accused on his part, said his client was not in any chance likely to be a flight risk, and, therefore, asked for the bail to be granted with sureties since the police were already holding his passport.

Members of the #FixTheCountry Movement, and relatives of the accused who were present at the court expressed joy at the decision of the High Court to grant him bail.

Some of the members broke out in jubilation and chanting of patriotic songs when news got to them that their convener had been granted bail.

Counsel for the accused, however, stepped in and cautioned them against over jubilation and disturbing the court community, as he explained that the court could rescind the bail decision.

Barker-Vormawor appeared in court on Wednesday dressed in a gray suit over a black fix the country branded innerwear, with Nike sneakers and a Ghana flag tied to his right hand.

He was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport upon arrival from UK on February 11, 2022, and arraigned before the Ashiaman District Court on February 14, 2022 where he is standing trial for treason felony.

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