In what looks like a confirmation of the suspicion of the plaintiff about the police to either deliberately delay the court or show incompetence, was the drama in the East Ada Magistrate Court.
Chief Inspector Frederick Manfe, a prosecutor at the East Ada Magistrate Court, did not mince telling his junior in the service, Corporal Lambert Kampusi, an investigator, in the courtroom that he was telling the court lies that he was oblivious the court had requested him, the investigator, to prepare a disclosure on a criminal case he had taken all witnesses’ statements for delivery at the previously adjourned date.
Chief Inspector Manfe told the court, presided over by Her Worship Paulina Kwakyewaa that he, together with Kwami Boni, counsel for the accused persons in the criminal case, personally handed Corporal Lambert the witnesses’ statements with their unlettered thumbprints to validate the thumbprints and demanded him to prepare the disclosure on the case for the court at the next adjourned date, March 2, this year.
The brief fact of the case is that Isaac Adi Buertey Puplampu, self-styled chief of Hwakpo in the West Ada District, and six others are facing two charges of damaging the property of Clement Ackwerh, the complainant, valued at GHc8,900 on August 29, 2021.
At the last adjourned date, March 2, when the case was called, Chief Inspector Frederick Manfe told the court that Corporal Lambert had neither prepared the disclosure nor lettered the thumbprints on the witnesses’ statements as had been directed by the court.
“My Ladyship, the investigator is not yet even in court as we speak. This morning when I reminded of his presence at the court, he told me to go ahead of him,” the prosecutor reported to the court.
Hearing that, the court sought the opinion of both the prosecutor and counsel for the accused persons if the investigator should be subpoenaed; however, all the parties agreed that if thirty minutes Corporal Lambert did not show up at court, he should be summoned.
In less than ten minutes after that conclusion had been drawn, Corporal Lambart, donning a white T-shirt, pulled up at the court on a little motorbike.
When the court wanted to know from him why his lateness to court, Corporal Lambert responded that he was not aware the case he was handling would be heard on that day.
Again, when the court enquired whether he had prepared the disclosure for submission, Corporal Kampusi Lambert said he went on a two-week leave and when he resumed, he had an equally pressing task in Tema so he was sorry the disclosure was not ready.
Immediately the investigator had told the court that, Chief Inspector Frederick Manfe rose and said: “You are lying.”
That sharp response nearly invited laughter in the courtroom.
Her Worship Paulina Kyekyewaa took a few minutes to school the investigator on being dutiful and committed to the service and such legal matters so that clients do not have doubts about the legal system.
“You are part of a case you have investigated and investigators (including all investigators) must always team up with prosecutors for efficiency,” the court advised Corporal Lambert who stood like a pupil with both hands behind him praying within him that his teacher tempers justice with mercy.
“I promise to make the disclosure ready to the court on the next adjourned date,” Corporal Lambert pledged.
After accepting his pledge, both Chief Inspector Manfe and counsel for the accused persons prayed the court to adjourn the case to March 16, a request the court granted.
On August 31, 2021, the West Ada District Police Commander led personnel to arrest Isaac Adi Buertey Puplampu, self-styled 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 mobilising 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 cost 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, 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, the self-styled chief, 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.