Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 19 July 2012
The State on Thursday arraigned Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Assin North, before an Accra Circuit Court over alleged inflammatory statements he made on an Accra-based radio station, Oman FM.
He has been charged with provocation of riot and offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was admitted to self recognisance bail because the prosecution did not object to it as the accused is already on Police enquiry bail.
Mr Frank Davies, Counsel for Kennedy Agyapong, earlier in his submission prayed the court to admit his client to bail since the offence for which the accused had been charged was a bailable one.
He said the prosecution is obliged by law to prove all its case against the accused and not just appear before the court “with facts which have been whittled down by fairy tales.”
He said though the current charges were not as gargantuan as before it was up to the prosecution to state their case before the court.
He said the accused is a Member of Parliament and an industrious entrepreneur with a fixed place of abode and would not interfere with the work of the prosecution.
Mr Davies also said the accused did not incite anybody to war as alleged by the State and that his statements were mere facts which did not amount to the declaration of war against the State.
He said his client had no capacity to marshal the force of arms.
He said the accused is a politician and that his statement must be taken within that context.
He questioned how the accused could declare war against his own State when he could not assemble the force of arms, saying it was an absurdity.
Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Principal State Attorney, said because the offence was a bailable one the prosecution would not object to the court granting the accused self-recognisance bail because he was already on Police enquiry bail.
Mrs Ebenezer Osei Darko, the trial judge, who upheld the submission of the prosecution, consequently, admitted the accused to self-recognisance bail and, subsequently, adjourned the case to July 23.
The accused was arrested on Monday, April 16, after being invited by the Police Criminal Investigations Department over statements he allegedly made the previous Friday, April 13, on his Accra-based radio station, Oman FM.
He was alleged to have “declared war” and vowed to lynch any fake security operative, following the alleged physical attack on Ms Ursula Owusu, NPP Ablekuma South Parliamentary Aspirant and Mr Abu Jinapor, an aide to the NPP Flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at Tarzan, a registration centre at Odododiodoo in Accra.
The accused reportedly said he would organise supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to defend themselves because the Police had failed to protect them.
On Wednesday, April 18, the Adjabeng Magistrate's Court in Accra declined jurisdiction in the case of treason, felony and attempted genocide brought against the accused, saying such crimes should be tried by the High Court.
Ms Patricia Quansah, Presiding over the court, said in a ruling after the prosecution had asked for the accused to be remanded that such cases were heard by three high court judges.
She said the Chief Justice on June 17, 2008, released a circular to all judges stating that cases such as treason, murder, narcotics and rape, were to be referred to the Chief Justice, who would in turn refer them to the court.
Ms Quansah asked the prosecution, also led by Mr Wiredu, to refer the matter to the Chief Justice to determine which court should hear the case.**