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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Source: GNA

Court orders Police and NACOB boss to appear before it

Accra, Aug. 14, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Tuesday ordered the Tema Regional Police Commander, its Regional Crime officer or third party to appear before it and explain why they were detaining one Konu.

Alhaji Issa Abass mentioned Konu's name as being one of the people he asked to assist the Police in their investigations, after he (Abass) was picked for a narcotic related offence. The order came after Mr Mohammed Attah, counsel for Abass, told the court that the Police in Tema had detained Konu and were harassing one Wofa Yaw.

Mr Attah said as result, he was wondering whether the two would-be witnesses would appear before the court for the defence. The court further ordered the investigator in the case, Detective Inspector Charles Adaba, to inform the Tema Regional Police accordingly. "Security agencies cannot stifle the administration of justice; they should appear before me and explain why they are detaining Konu and Wofa Yaw," Mr Justice Jones Dotse, an appeals court judge sitting as additional High Court judge said.

The Court also directed Mr. Ben Botchwey, Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), to appear before it on August 15 to explain whether the subpoena issued to Mr Ben Ndego, the interdicted Director of Operations of NACOB, had been delivered to him. The court noted that the subpoena was served on Mr Botchwey. "This would give reasons to me to issue a bench warrant for him," the court said.

Two high-ranking members of NACOB - Col. (Rtd) Isaac Akuoko and Mr Ndego - were asked to appear before the Court hearing the case of Alhaji Issah Abass and Kwabena Amaning, aka Tagor, who are being tried for narcotic offences.

Abass had told the court in his evidence that he was asked by Mr Ndego to record the meeting held in Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye's residence at Kanda in Accra.

The myth surrounding the "ACP Kofi Boakye Tape" was broken following Abass' evidence that he recorded the meeting. Witnesses who appeared before the Georgina Wood Committee in 2006 did not disclose the name of who recorded the meeting or the one who dropped it at NACOB.

At the last court sitting on July 31, Abass in concluding his defence through his counsel, Mr Mohammed Attah, indicated that they intended calling two or three witnesses.

The court obliged and said they should not hesitate to apply for a subpoena when the need arose.

Alhaji Abass, 54, and Tagor, 34, described by the prosecution as self-confessed drug barons, are jointly charged for conspiracy and are being tried for drug-related offences.

Abass is also being held for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs while Tagor has additionally been charged for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs, buying and supplying of narcotic drugs. They have pleaded not guilty and the court has remanded them in prison custody.

The case of the prosecution is that the accused are self-confessed drug barons, who since 2004 had been actively engaged in activities of promoting and establishing various enterprises relating to narcotic drugs.

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