Two leading members of the opposition National Democratic Congress who are on trial for harmful comments have been granted bail by an Accra High Court on Tuesday.
Party’s National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, and a Deputy Communications Officer, Kwaku Boahen, have been charged for conspiracy to cause harm and assault on a public officer.
The two pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been admitted to 100,000 cedis plus one surety bail each.
Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo is leading the prosecution team.
Counsel for Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo, Tony Lithur, has described the charges as “frivolous” and “vicious”, accusing the government of abusing the prosecutorial powers of the Attorney General, and has promised to prove that in the course of the trial.
Dr. Abdul Baasit Aziz Bamba who is leading the legal team of Kwaku Boahen said his client was not even in the said meeting Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo is alleged to have made those harmful comments.
Meanwhile, the court has directed prosecution to furnish them with documents they wish to rely on.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo was allegedly captured on a leaked tape asking communication officers of the NDC to take the Chair of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Jean Mensa, to the cleaners while giving them the go-ahead to also abuse the Chairman of the National Peace Council.
But the NDC has accused the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government of “persecution”.
A statement issued by General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia asked all well-meaning Ghanaians “to defend the fundamental human rights of our citizenry, during this moment of unbridled political persecution by the Akufo-Addo led NPP government”.
On Tuesday when the case was first called in court, former President John Mahama and some leading members of the NDC were in court to support the embattled chairman and communications officer.
A crowd of NDC supporters also thronged the High Court to back Ofosu-Ampofo and Kwaku Boahen.
The case has been adjourned to May 6.
What we know so far
A leaked audio purported to be the voice of Mr Ofosu-Ampofo in a meeting with NDC communicators had him saying: “We’re going to take [the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission] to the cleaners.”
“As for the EC Chair, we must wage a relentless war on this EC Chair. Me, she doesn’t want to see my face,” Mr Ofosu-Ampofo is alleged to have said.
In the audio, Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo also gave his blessing to the party communicators to insult the Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante, the Chairman of the National Peace Council.
“For the first time, I’ll endorse insulting the National Peace Council Chair,” he said.
The alleged meeting between Mr Ofosu-Ampofo and NDC communicators was aimed at planning strategies ahead of the 2020 general election.
When the issue of the leaked tape went viral, the NDC described it as concocted and false.
They threatened taking a legal action.
A statement signed by Mr Gyamfi dismissed the authenticity of the said tape and accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and some members of the government of being the masterminds behind the tape.
The NDC, therefore, urged the public to disregard the said audio, which had gone viral, and “treat all of its content with the contempt it deserves”.
CID invites Ampofo
Later, Mr Ofosu-Ampofo was invited by the CID to speak to the leaked tape.
Although the CID issued a press statement explaining that it had invited the NDC Chairman to assist them with investigations, his lawyers showed up at the CID headquarters to explain that their client did not receive any official invitation until later.
Arrest of Ofosu-Ampofo
Failing to honour the invitation twice, the police obtained a court warrant for his arrest to answer questions relating to his alleged comments on the leaked tape.
Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo finally showed up at the CID headquarters for interrogation in the accompaniment of a high-powered delegation of lawyers and bigwigs of the NDC.
He was initially charged with conspiracy to commit crime, to wit, kidnapping, and threat of harm and granted bail.
The charges were dropped and replaced with conspiracy to cause harm and assault on a public officer
Source: 3news.com | Ghana