BY MUNTALLA INUSAH
TRIAL OF the remaining 10 of the accused persons who are facing prosecution for the incident at the Kwabenya Police Station which led to the death of one police officer begins today.
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 each.
The accused persons, including one woman, Nancy Denteh, a bread seller, who was charged with abetting the escape of the accused persons connected to the attack, have been charged with abetment to escape from lawful custody. They all pleaded not guilty.
The other accused persons are Kofi Darko, George Yeboah, Prince Kofi Acheampong, and Edward Lartey. The rest are 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 and bread seller 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 her mother. Counsel said his client had relatives ready to stand sureties for her and that she would submit herself anytime the court needed her.
Counsel for Prince Kofi Acheampong and Edward Lartey said his clients had sureties to stand in for them, especially Lartey, who is 20 years and, per the facts from the police, was not mentioned anywhere in the case.
Lawyer for George Yeboah told the court that his client is a family man having a wife and that he had competent people to stand sureties, including members of his church, Jesus Action International Ministry.
Elvis Owusu and Theophilus 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.
Supt. Kweku Bempah, the prosecutor in the case, 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, after hearing both arguments, denied the bail application.
Plea not taken
The accused persons, whose plea in respect of possessing of firearms without authority and abetment to possessing firearm without lawful authority were not taken, will reappear in court on February 13.
The court directed that the prosecution take the steps to get the necessary information by consulting the Attorney General before the next adjourned date. According to the court, investigations must be completed and all those needed to be consulted in respect of the matter ought to be contacted with immediacy.
The attack on the police station led to the escape of seven suspects. A police officer on duty was killed in the attack and has since been buried.