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Court Gives AG One Day Ultimatum


06 June 2012

Court Gives AG One Day Ultimatum

DSP Gifty Mawuenyega TehodaAN ACCRA Circuit Court judge, Francis Obiri, has given the Attorney-General (AG) Department a one-day ultimatum to start the hearing of the case involving DSP Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda or he would discharge her.

The judge, who was unhappy to adjourn the matter as requested by Anthony Rexford Wiredu, informed the latter that he could only give him a day and added the word of caution to it.

The warning did not go to only the state attorney but also to the accused and her lawyers as the judge indicated that he would issue a bench warrant for her arrest and also go on with the case if the accused and her lawyers failed to appear in court as scheduled.

The case has suffered several adjournments at the court presided over by Audrey Kocuvie-Tay, where the accused was earlier charged.

In view of this, when the case was called yesterday at the new court, Mr. Obiri asked the prosecutor to call in his witnesses.

However Mr. Wiredu told the judge that the Bureau of National Investigations’ (BNI) witnesses would be ready next week but the judge indicated that he would not adjourn the matter beyond this week.

The prosecutor also argued that the case should be called afresh before the judge and the plea of the accused taken again as done in cases transferred to different courts.

Counsel for the accused, E.A Vordoagu, objected to this, explaining that if the case was partly heard at the previous court, then that procedure could be appropriate.

Mr. Wiredu responded that if that was not done and the accused lost the case at the Circuit Court, she could use the flaw against the state when she went on appeal.

The trial judge agreed with the prosecution and ordered that DSP Tehoda’s plea be re-taken.

DSP Tehoda pleaded not guilty to two counts of abetment of crime, to wit undertaking an activity relating to narcotic drugs contrary to section 56(c) and 3(2) of the PNDCL 236 Narcotic Drugs (Control, Enforcement and Sanction Act 1990).

Mr. Wiredu asked the judge to remand the accused but her lawyer prayed that she should be made to remain on her former bail of GH¢100,000 with two sureties, as granted by an Accra High Court.

The judge granted the defence’s plea, after which he adjourned the matter, with a warning to both parties that he would take action should any of them fail to appear.

Mr. Wiredu, presenting the facts, narrated that on September 28, 2011, Kwabla Senanu, counsel for Nana Ama Martins, a woman accused of dealing in narcotics, objected to a substance believed to be the said cocaine and prayed the court for a retesting.

The trial judge, Eric Kyei Baffour, agreed and when the substance was re-tested, it turned out to be sodium bicarbonate, baking soda.

Mr. Wiredu informed the court that the BNI began investigations into the soda-cocaine following a directive by the Vice President for investigations into how the 1,020 grammes of cocaine turned into baking soda.

The investigations, according to the prosecutor, revealed that DSP Tehoda, Deputy Head of the Commercial Crime Unit at the CID headquarters, knew about the swapping of the substance and also knew Nana Ama.

Mr Wiredu said the police officer arranged for a lawyer for the cocaine suspect and allegedly met with Nana Ama Martins, a dozen times while she was in custody and also after her subsequent release when the stuff changed to baking soda.

Explaining further, Mr. Wiredu said he would lead evidence to show that one Mr. Yankah and Serwah Gyaabah, an uncle and sister of Ama Martins respectively, told a witness in the case that with the help of DSP Tehoda they had been able to turn the cocaine into soda after the trial judge refused to take GH¢5,000 they had wanted to bribe him with.

The witness allegedly explained that the relatives wanted to give the judge and one Lawal, the court clerk, GH¢4,000 andGH¢1,000 respectively.

This allegation, according to the prosecutor, was confirmed by one Beatrice Naab, a family member of Ama Martins who asked the witness to keep her mouth shut and not tell anyone the role played by DSP Mawuenyega and others involved.

Mr. Wiredu said DSP Tehoda told Nana Ama Martins’ lawyer that they had managed to swap the cocaine and that at the trial he should request for a re-test. This instruction was followed by the lawyer and true to her words the cocaine turned into soda.

He said the DSP jubilated in her office when she heard of Nana Ama Martins’ release.

“This enterprise of swapping of cocaine turning into soda was facilitated by the accused and so she has been charged,” he noted.

By Mary Anane Source: Daily Guide/Ghana



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