Circumstances leading to the discharge of eight members of pro-New Patriotic Party vigilante group, Delta Force, by the Kumasi Circuit Court has triggered investigations by the Attorney General’s Department.
The eight who were being tried for allegedly raiding a Court and assisting 13 of their members to escape from lawful custody were Wednesday morning freed after a principal State Attorney told the court they lacked evidence.
The State prosecutor from the AG’s Department in Kumasi consequently prayed the court presided over by Ms Patricia Amponsah to discontinue the case which grabbed headlines in April.
The request was granted.
But the discontinuance of the case has been condemned by many Ghanaians some of who raised the issue of government interference in the case.
The minority in parliament called for the immediate re-arrest of the eight persons, describing the circumstances surrounding the discharge of the accused persons as affront to the judiciary.
Haruna Iddrisu addressing a news conference later contended that even Facebook and Twitter were awash with evidence of the heinous act “and some evidence can be made available”, hence argued Ms Gloria Akuffo, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, failed to do a diligent search for evidence.
But before the dust is settled, the government issued a statement late Wednesday stating the notice of discontinuance by the principal State Attorney was without recourse to “higher authority” within the AG’s Department.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that the decision was taken without recourse even to the Director of Public Prosecution and may amount to a breach of internal procedures on matters of this nature,” the statement from the Information Ministry clarified.
It said investigations have been launched into circumstances leading to the issuance of the notice of the discontinuance by the State Attorney
“The Attorney General’s department is investigating circumstances under which a Principal State Attorney in Kumasi decided without recourse to advice from higher authority on a matter of high public interest of this nature to drop charges against persons arrested in connection with disturbances in a Kumasi Magistrate’s court in April this year.
“While the department awaits the full results of this investigation we will like to reiterate our commitment to ensuring that the rule of law is applied at all times and persons found culpable of any breaches that bring the work and commitment of the department into disrepute will be sanctioned and the appropriate remedies adopted in the interest of the Republic,” it assured.
The eight were being tried for their alleged role in aiding the escape of their colleagues who were standing trials for attacking a public officer on April 6 2017 at the KMA circuit court when the latter were standing trial for an attack on the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator.
The eight were remanded into prison custody on April 10, 2017 when they appeared in court for the first time to answer two counts of charges: disturbances of court as evoked under Section 223 of the Criminal Code of 1960 and resisting arrest and rescue as evoked under Section 226 of the Criminal Code.
They all pleaded not guilty to the offences and their lawyer, Gary Nimako, argued against their alleged knowledge in the said charges.
They were later granted bail to reappear on April 18. The case docket was sent by the Police to the AG’s Department for advice following which the State Attorney issued the notice of discontinuance on Wednesday.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana