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).
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.
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.
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