Kwabenya cell break: Judge angry over delays

THE ACCRA Circuit Court presided over by His Honour Mr Aboagye Tandoh has expressed his dissatisfaction at the delay in the trial of the remaining 10 persons involved in the incident at the Kwabenya Police Station which led to the death of one police officer .

When the case was called for the trial to commence, the prosecution, led by Chief Superintendent Kwaku Owusu Bempah, told the court that the prosecution was not ready and prayed for a short adjournment.

The court, unhappy with the delay, said it would not accept such delays any longer at the next court date. He, therefore, cautioned the prosecution to put their house in order and commence the trial on Thursday March 15, the next court date.

Two jailed

Already, two of the 12 persons, Prince Osei and Atta Kwadwo, have been convicted on their own plea by the Circuit Court after pleading guilty to two charges of abetment to escape lawful custody and escape from lawful custody. They were handed 60 months to share.

The remaining accused persons, including one woman, Nancy Denteh, a bread seller, have been charged with abetting the escape of suspects in police cells and escape from lawful custody. They all have pleaded not guilty.

The 10 include Kofi Darko, Nancy Dentah, and George Yeboah. The rest are Prince Kofi Acheampong, Edward Lartey, Kofi Seshie, George Sarbah, Elvis Owusu, George Asante and Theophilus Bandah.

Refusal of bail

The accused persons, who have their respective legal representations, had their application for bail refused.

Lawyer Bernard Owiredu, for Nancy Dentah, representing the only female among them, in his application for bail, said his client is a single mother and an entrepreneur in her own right, and that she has a six-year-old son who always needs his mother.

Counsel said his client has relatives ready to stand sureties for her and she would submit herself anytime the court needed her.

Counsel for Acheampong and Lartey said his clients had sureties to stand in for them, and that Lartey, a young man of 20, per the facts from the police, was not mentioned anywhere in the case.

Lawyer for Yeboah told the court that his client is a family man who has a wife and that he has competent people to stand sureties, including members of his church, Jesus Action International Ministry.

Owusu and Bandah, through their lawyer, said they were gainfully employed and that while Owusu worked with Le Maxx Restaurant at Accra Mall, Bandah worked for one Madam Theresa Gaise, who was in court to stand surety for him.

Superintendant Bempah, the prosecutor in the case, earlier objected to the application for bail and argued that it would be for their own safety to remain in custody, especially with the public attention it had received.

He added that if granted bail, they may not avail themselves to stand trial and so the court should refuse their application for bail. The court subsequently refused the application.

The attack on the police station led to the escape of seven suspects. A police officer on duty was also killed in the attack and has since been buried.

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