The Presiding Judge of the Sekondi High Court One, His Lordship Justice Richard Adjei-Frimpong, has ordered that the two Nigerians accused of murdering the kidnapped Takoradi girls, Sam Udoetuk Wills and John Orji, be offered legal representation before their trial can commence.
The two accused persons since their “court journey” have been without any legal representation.
However, since their charge sheet has been changed to murder, they are required under the country’s criminal procedure to have legal representation.
Due to this lacuna, when the case was called in court on Tuesday, July 14, His Lordship Justice Richard Adjei-Frimpong asked two lawyers present in court to represent the two accused persons.
However, they all turned down the request explaining that their personal affiliation with families of the murdered girls will not permit them to represent the two accused persons.
Thus, Justice Adjei-Frimpong directed the prosecuting State Attorney, Patience Klenogo, to write to the Legal Aid Scheme to provide the accused persons with legal representation.
“That should have been the case previously but now that they have been charged fully and committed to the crime of murder, they should be given legal representation. I will write to order Legal Aid to assess them and arrange representation for them,” Justice Adjei-Frimpong said.
He indicated that since the case was a matter of public interest, there is the need for it to be discussed with the Attorney General for special concessions to expedite proceedings.
The Presiding Judge also raised concern with the absence of alibi for the second accused person, John Orji, and entreated him to furnish the case investigators with the necessary information on his whereabouts when the incident – kidnapping and killings – took place.
Before the case could be adjourned, John Orji – the second accused – brought to the attention of the court that his health has been left to chance.
According to him, he is asthmatic and must take a medication that requires he takes adequate food but he is not getting it.
His Lordship Justice Adjei-Frimpong therefore directed that his handlers give him the required food.
Family members of Priscilla Bentum, Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, and Ruth Abekah were all in court.
However, that of Ruthlove Quayson were conspicuously missing in court.
The case was adjourned to July 29, 2020.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana