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Circuit court throws out police demand for Owusu Bempah to produce four people

Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah (centre) and entourage

Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah (centre) and entourage

An Accra circuit court, presided over by Afia Owusua Appiah, has dismissed an oral application by the police seeking a court order to compel Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah to produce four people to assist the Ghana Police Service with its investigations.

Chief Inspector Dennis Terkpetey, after withdrawing the 13 September charge sheet and presenting a new charge sheet filed on 29 September 2021, prayed the court to order Rev Owusu Bempah to produce one Matata, as well as Nana Brown, Ohio Acheampong and Kwame Amoh of Peace FM, to assist in what he describes as an ongoing investigation.

In her ruling, Judge Owusua Appiah rejected the application by the police prosecutor, stating that any such order directed at the accused would be a breach of his fundamental human right to remain silent as an accused person, as guaranteed by the 1992 constitution of Ghana.

Given that the police withdrew their initial charge sheet setting out charges against five accused individuals, the court struck out the first charge sheet as withdrawn.

First case

The police named three accused in the first of two new charge sheets. They are Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah (the first accused), Mensah Ofori (the second accused) and Bright Berchie (the third accused).

The accused individuals named on the first charge sheet were charged with offensive conduct conducive to breach of the peace, contrary to Section 207 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) and with making death threats, contrary to Section 75 of the same act.

After taking the plea of these three accused, the court granted the first accused self-recognisance bail in the sum of GHC100,000.

The remaining two accused were also granted bail in the sum of GHC100,000, with two sureties to be justified. The court further ordered all the accused to deposit their passports at the court registry.

Second case

On a second charge sheet presented by the police before the circuit court judge Evelyn Baah Torsu, the police named four accused. Reverend Owusu Bempah again is the first accused and Michael Boateng, Fredrick Ohene and Nathaniel Agyekum are the second, third and fourth accused.

The four accused are charged with abetment of crime, namely causing harm, contrary to Sections 20(1) and 69 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960; abetment of crime, namely causing unlawful damage, contrary to Sections 20(1) and 172(1) (b) of the same act; causing harm, contrary to Section 69 of the same act; and causing unlawful damage, contrary to Section 172 (1) (b) of the same act.

Evelyn Baah Torsu’s court admitted the four accused to bail in the sum of GHC100,000 each with one surety each to be justified.

Next sittings

In the first case, being heard before Afia Owusua Appiah, the judge adjourned sitting to 10 November 2021.

Evelyn Baah Torsu, on the other hand, adjourned sitting to 15 November 2021 for the second case to take its natural course.

Wilberforce Asare

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