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General News of Thursday, 25 September 2014

Source: The Informer

Chief Justice, A-G urged to investigate Kenu’s withdrawal assault case

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Madam Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong and the Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood, have been urged to investigate the circumstances under which an assault case involving a former Black Stars player, Baffour Gyan, was discontinued at a Kumasi court.

This plea was made by a lawyer, Mr. Samson Lardi Ayenini, in an article in the Daily Graphic titled “Kenu, Police, Judge; all caught in fatal error,” where the young astute legal brain sought to have questioned the basis for the dissolution of the case brought against Baffour Gyan by the State.

Seeing the termination of the said case as a clear procedural irregularity and violation of the law, Mr. Ayenini made known in his article that, “it is only the AG who is permitted in law to terminate or discontinue a case using either of two modes; WITHDRAWAL or NOLLE PROSEQUI”.

According to him, this; the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice vested with the power will do without assigning any reason.

“A prosecutor may lead a withdrawal with the consent of the Court or on the instructions of the Attorney-General at any time, before judgment is pronounced;” he stated, adding that a complainant may only be permitted to discontinue a case at the police station and not at the court, as reported to have been done.

Headed “Procedural Irregularity No. 2”, Lawyer Samson Lardi Ayenini pointed out that the letter addressed directly to the presiding judge to inform him of the decision for the discontinuation of the case, instead, should have been referred to the Registrar of the Court and not the Judge as is reported.

According to him, the letter has to be properly filed in the Registry of the Court by paying the appropriate charges, if any, for onward notification of the Judge and placed on the case docket.

As a bad precedent, Lawyer Ayenini indicated that the decision by the prosecution to simply discontinue or give up on a case on the basis that a complainant is no longer interested in a case, on whatever grounds, will embolden what he described as “hooligans”, to keep on with their criminal acts.

To prevent situations like the above from recurring in the near future, Mr. Ayenini, in a humble plea to A-G, requests a possible re-listing of the case to be properly discontinued.

He has equally called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Alhassan Mohammed and Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, to demand to know from their various representatives (prosecutor, judge) why the breach.