The trial of the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, and a Communications officer of the NDC, Anthony Kwaku Boahen, has been set for the 18th of December 2019.
The two NDC officials have been charged in respect of the infamous leaked tape and are being tried at a Commercial Court in Accra presided over by Samuel Aseidu. The tape is alleged to have captured how the NDC is allegedly planning to commit crimes in the country and turn round to blame them on the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). Amongst the strategies are the creation of a general state of insecurity in the country through kidnappings and arson, and verbal attacks on public officials like the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof. Emmanuel Asante, and the Electoral Commission Boss, Jean Mensa.
Before the Court was invited to set the date for trial to Commence, lawyer for the second accused person Aziz Bamba, moved a Motion on notice to strike out a witness statement of one Listowell Fordjour, filed by the State on the 8th of November 2019.
It was his argument that per the practice directives of the Chief Justice on criminal trials, all materials to be disclosed by the Prosecution should be done at least two days before the Case Management Conference (CMC) . He contended that after the CMC, the Prosecution files a witness statement of one Listowell Fordjour in breach of the rules.
“In light of the foregoing the Witness Statement of Listowell Fordjour, filed on the 8th of November 2019, is irregular, inccurably incompetent and same should be struck out and we pray accordingly” lawyer Aziz Bamba said in Court.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Atakora Obuabisa, in opposing the instant application noted that the Prosecution should have sort leave of the Court before filing the witness statement in question.
“We concede that we did not do same. We will ask that you wave this irregularity and admit the witness statement because the witness statement will not in any way prejudice the rights of the defence to cross examine the witness” the Director of Public Prosecution said in Court.
Justice Samuel Aseidu’s Court in its ruling indicated that the practice direction in criminal Prosecution as directed by the Chief Justice does not bar the Prosecution from filing additional documents after the Case Management Conference (CMC).
“The application to strike out the witness statement is there denied. The witness statement is admitted into evidence and the defence team will have the opportunity to cross exam the witness” the Court ruled.
After agreeing amongst themselves as to when the trial should commence, the Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Atakora Obuabisa and the two defence lawyers Tony Lithur and Aziz Bamba, proposed the 18th and 19th of December 2019. The Court adopted the dates for the trial to Commence.