Ofosu Ampofo Thrown Out

Samuel Ofosu Ampofo

The plans of Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the embattled National Chairman of
the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), to have two out of three
charges against him dropped have hit a snag.

This follows the dismissal of an application by his lawyers praying the
court to strike out the charges due to lack of particulars.

Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo and the party’s Deputy Communications Officer,
Anthony Kwaku Boahen, are facing three charges before an Accra High Court over
alleged leaked audio detailing strategies the NDC allegedly intends to use for
2020 elections, one being the kidnappings of family members of political
opponents.

The NDC members were captured on tape allegedly planning to commit
crimes in the country and turn round to blame the ruling New Patriotic Party
(NPP).

Charges

Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo has been charged with one count of conspiracy to
cause harm and two counts of assault against a public officer.

Mr. Boahen, on the other hand, is facing one count of conspiracy to
cause harm.

Last month, Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo filed an application challenging the two
charges of assault against a public officer.

His lawyers argued that failure by the Attorney General (AG) to
provide particulars of the charges constitutes a defect and therefore cannot be
called to answer for them.

They, therefore, prayed the court to strike out the charges against their
client.

The Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, however,
opposed the application, praying the court to disregard it.

The presiding judge, Justice Samuel K. Asiedu, dismissed the
application on the grounds that the charges are valid and the defect, as stated
by the lawyer, is not fatal to the trial.

Alibi

The court also dismissed the alibi filed by lawyers for Mr. Boahen,
who argued that he was not at the said meeting where the plans were allegedly made.

According to his lawyer, Dr. Baasit Bamba, the deputy communications
officer was at a different place when the said meeting was taking place.

He indicated that they had given the names of 11 persons and their
contact numbers to the Office of the Attorney General to proof the veracity of
the alibi, but the AG was only able to speak to four of them.

The court, in its ruling, also held that the prosecution was under
no obligation to speak to all persons – the defence provided for the alibi.

Justice Asiedu added that the defence team could use the remaining
eight persons as its witnesses during the trial.

Meanwhile, the court has ordered the prosecution to furnish the
defence with the extract of diary of action in respect of the criminal
complaint against Mr. Boahen.

The request for the diary was part of the applications filed by his
lawyer.

Witnesses

The dismissal of the applications has paved the way for the prosecution
to call its first witness, as both the defence and prosecution, have held a
case management conference to set down the rules of proceedings.

The presiding judge subsequently set July 8, 2019, for the trial to commence.

By Gibril Abdul Razak

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