Provisional charge of murder has been preferred against the seven persons accused of lynching and burning a Ghanaian military officer.They have been remanded into Police custody to allow investigators delve into the case.
The seven were arraigned Thursday morning at a District Court in Cape Coast where police prosecutors, led by ASP Avornyo, prayed the court to remand the accused persons as thorough investigations into the gruesome murder continue.
He told the court presided over by Rita Amonyiwaa Edusah that the charges were provisional, explaining that the investigations thus far were preliminary.
Their plea was not taken by the court in view of the fact that the charges are preliminary and the full facts of the case have not been gathered.
The Police were compelled to take the suspects to court due to the constitutionally mandated provision which requires that a person arrested is put before court within 48-hours.
Article 14(3) provides that “a person arrested, restricted or detained shall be brought before a court within forty-eight (48) hours after the arrest, restriction and detention”.
Remand not opposed
Lawyer for the accused persons, George Bernard Shaw, did not oppose the request by the prosecution .
The court consequently granted the application by the prosecutors and remanded the seven persons to appear again on Monday, June 19.
The seven, including an assembly member who is said to be the mastermind of the lynching and subsequent burning of a part Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama’s body arrived at the Court premises at about 8:10 am Thursday amidst tight security.
“Almost every corner of the court was heavily manned by armed security personnel” TV3’s Thomas Cann who was in court reported.
Captain Mahama, a member of the 5th Infantry of the Ghana Armed Forces, was jogging at Denkyira-Obuasi at about 8:30am on May 29 when he was lynched and a part of his body set ablaze, the Military High Command confirmed in a statement issued Tuesday.
His body was filled with marks of assault including multiple deep cut wounds on the head and a partially burnt body, the Police have said.
A swoop in the town Tuesday by a team of Police and military personnel led to the rounding up of a total of 166 people made up of 80 women and 86 men.
They screened after which five of them were arrested. Two others, including the assembly member, later turned themselves in to the Police Wednesday evening
“But it doesn’t mean that we have left them off the hook. If there’s any further information or evidence we will call upon them so that we will continue investigation…As for the five, we’ve got concrete evidence that they were deeply involved but those we’ve discharged now it could happen that if there is fresh evidence we could rope them in,” DCOP Ampah Benin told TV3 Tuesday.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana