A complainant in a pending case at the Ada District Magistrate Court, who is seeking justice over the unlawful demolition of his family property, has indicated that he feels frustrated by the conduct of the prosecutor and CID whose continuous poor showing at the court is delaying the hearing of the case.
The trial is yet to begin and the case has been adjourned five times since it began at the District Magistrate Court in October this year. It has been one adjournment to the other.
On Tuesday, December 7, this year, when they appeared in court, the complainant, from the Ackwerh family expressed surprise that the prosecutor, Chief Inspector Frederick Manfe who was nowhere to be found when the case was called, albeit he was seen in court on that fateful day. Giving that, the court adjourned the case to December 16.
When he was reached on his mobile phone, Chief Inspector Frederick Manfe expressed remorse for failing to communicate his unannounced departure to the complainant when he realized that the court was delaying in opening for work on that day.
The complainant’s family, who drove from Ashaiman to the court in Ada, was unhappy with the excuse by the prosecutor but hoped that when they appeared in court on December 16, the prosecutor would have put his house in order to enable the court to resume trial.
However, that hope was dashed when the complainant and his family, who had travelled from Ashaiman, went to the court only for the prosecutor to pray the court for another adjournment to enable him and the CID invite the last witness to sign his witness statement.
The complainant and his family did not spare unleashing their misgivings and disappointment at Chief Inspector Frederick Manfe and the CID for frustrating them.
To them, the prosecutor and CID, who had the witness statement in their custody, had over one week to call the witness to meet them at the Ada Divisional Police Command at Kasseh to sign his witness statement after they had allegedly made the complainant to pay GHc350.00 to type and print the written witness statement.
Giving them the benefit of an oversight, the complainant and his family reported at the Ada District Magistrate Court before 8.30 am on December 16, the same day the CID and prosecutor made the complainant thumbprint his statement.
“These two knew that one witness had not signed his statement so they should have drawn our attention on that day so that we asked the witness to do it before the court opened at 10. You (prosecutor and CID) kept the statement and then when our case was called, you (prosecutor) arise to pray the court to adjourn the case because one witness was yet to sign his statement. What is that? Are you (prosecutor and CID) not giving me the room to suspect you (prosecutor and CID) of engaging in some shady deals with the accused persons who had destroyed our family building without any court order?” the Ackwerh family fumed outside the court after the court had granted the prayer of the prosecutor for adjournment of the case to January 25, 2022.
“We are in court to seek justice but here we are being frustrated by the attitude of two persons. First, you (prosecutor) hardly come to assist the court to start the hearing. Then, today, another silly excuse is that the court adjourns the case to enable you (prosecutor) to invite the last witness to sign his statement. We have to be travelling from Ashaiman to Ada because of this case and here are two persons frustrating us. Why?,” Mr Ackwerh, the complainant, roared outside the court.
The complainant said he would petition the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to bring the police prosecutor to order.
On August 31, 2021, the West Ada District Police Commander led personnel to arrest Isaac Adi Buertey Puplampu, who is also holding himself as chief of Hwakpo, for leading some thugs to illegally raze a native’s property.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Aboagye trailed the suspect to the Ada Traditional Council, where he had appeared before a three-member committee on a chieftaincy dispute.
Immediately proceedings commenced, a female CID, holding handcuffs, entered the traditional courtroom to seek an audience to pick Isaac Adi Buertey for allegedly mobilizing some young men to destroy the building of his rival, the Ackwehs, who is challenging his legitimacy as the chief of Hwakpo, at the Traditional Council.
But after a brief tête-à-tête between the CID and the Council’s Registrar outside the room, the CID, in the company of three police personnel and DSP Aboagye, the Commander, waited outside with bated breath for the hearing to close to pounce on the suspect, who, the police said had ignored their invitations to him since his alleged action on August 29, 2021.
Then, as soon as the Traditional Council adjourned the hearing and awarded GHc1, 500 costs against the Ackwerhs, the complainants, to go and amend their plea, DSP Aboagye and his men dashed to grab Isaac Adi Buertey Puplampu outside.
Though Adi Buertey’s counsel pleaded to hand him to the police, therefore, requesting DSP Aboagye to go ahead of them to the police station, the District Police Commander declined that.
As soon as the police arrived at the Sege District Police Headquarters with the suspect, they threw him behind the counter, where some cell inmates were heard welcoming Isaac Adi Buertey.
Interrogating him before his counsel on the illegal demolition of the structure at Hwakpo without a court order, Isaac Adi Buertey Puplampu told DSP Aboagye that he ordered only two of his boys to carry out the unlawful exercise.
Though his counsel pleaded for bail for his client, DSP Aboagye insisted that Isaac Adi Buertey Puplampu mentioned the names and locations of the two boys he admitted instructing to destroy the building without a court order.
“We need the names and the whereabouts of the two accomplices to assist the police in their investigations,” DSP Aboagye held while the suspect’s counsel still pushed for bail for his client.
After hours of a failed request, Isaac Adi Buertey Puplampu’s counsel held a brief standing meeting with the supporters of his client on the forecourt of the police station, and then he entered his Toyota Highlander vehicle and drove off.
After taking the suspect’s statement, the East Ada Divisional Commander ordered the receipt of the docket while the suspect was kept in police custody.
The police later granted the main suspect in this case, a police enquiry bail while investigations continued.
The investigation and video evidence at their disposal led the police to pick up six other suspects who are standing trial at the Ada District Court.