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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Source: GNA

Court remands doctor, two others for manufacturing, possessing arms

Remanded medical doctor and two others Remanded medical doctor and two others

The Kaneshie District Court on Tuesday remanded the medical doctor and two others who were arrested on Friday night, September 20, for allegedly manufacturing and possessing arms.

The pleas of Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, a medical practitioner, Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu, alias BB or ADC Freight Manager and Donya Kafui alias Ezor were not taken.

They have been jointly charged with conspiracy to commit crime to wit manufacturing of arms and ammunition as well as conspiracy to commit crime to wit possession of explosives, arms and ammunitions.

Donya was separately charged for two counts of manufacturing arms and ammunitions that is manufacturing 22 explosives between August and September.

Additionally, Mac-Palm was also charged for possessing 22 explosives, six pistols, three grenades and five ammunitions.

Their accomplice, only named as Sule is currently at large.

All of them will make their next appearance on October 9.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare did not give the facts, but pleaded with the Court to remand the accused persons into the Bureau of National Investigations’ custody, which he described as the leading investigative agency and that they would be closer for investigations.

However, its doors would be opened to the relatives of the accused persons, he noted.

In a rebuttal, Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawuga, counsel for the accused persons, told the Court that the Prosecution had completed its investigations since Friday when the accused persons were arrested and for them to present the charge and facts before the Court showed they were done with their investigations.

He quoted Article 14 of the 1992 Constitution that when one was arrested, he should be arraigned within 48 hours and it was the Court’s discretion to remand the accused based on the facts, adding that the law lied in the “bosom of the judge” and not the police.

Mr Adawuga prayed the Court to consider the accused persons’ rights to liberty, freedom and movements, which were the Court’s duty to protect, saying that his clients were not guilty until proven so, therefore it was unjust to prevent their freedom.

He argued that their pleas should be taken as the charges and facts were set and that they were also not flight risk when granted bail.

ASP Asare on his part said remanding the accused persons would enhance and facilitate investigations, saying that investigations could not be completed because it was commenced late Friday when the accused persons were picked from the crime scene.

Investigations are still within the 48 hours period as the weekend in addition to the holiday (Founder’s Day) impeded the official investigation period.

He said Article 14 also states that if investigations were not completed within 48 hours accused could be arraigned and remanded.

“We respect their rights and liberty but the rights are subject to the rights and freedom of others and in the public’s interest, however, the Court still can exercise its discretion,” he said.

Madam Rosemond Dooduwa Adjiyiri declining the bail, said some of the offences were indictable and beyond the Court’s jurisdiction thus, she could neither take the plea nor grant bail.

She advised prosecution to amend their charges, else, she would proceed to make her orders on the next adjourned date and that would be valid.

The Magistrate said the accused persons could have access to their lawyer everyday between 1400hours and 1700hours and from 1000hours to 1300hours for family.

That, she said, would be within the two-week adjourned period.

Security personnel upon suspicion arrested the three at Alajo and Bawaleshie in Accra on Friday, September 20, where quantities of arms, explosives and ammunitions were retrieved.