The trial of national Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and a deputy national communications officer, Kwaku Boahen has been adjourned to May 6.
The case was adjourned by presiding judge Justice Asiedu, according to XYZ News reporter Wisdom Hededzome who reports that the adjournment was to allow for the Attorney General’s Department to submit to the accused all statements necessary for the case to be heard.
The AG’s department has been asked by the Judge to also provide the charge sheet and an audio tape on which Mr Ofosu Ampofo is purported to have instigated his party members to attack some persons in the country.
Deputy AG Joseph Kpemka who represented the state told journalists in a post-proceedings he hopes their [state] facts speak for them.
The Commercial Division of the Accra High court granted bail to Ofosu-Ampofo and Kwaku Boahen in the sum of GHc100, 000 each.
The team of lawyers for the defendants was led by Mr Tony Lithur.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo and a deputy national communications officer, Mr Boahen are standing trial for allegedly instigating violence against the Electoral Commission Boss Jean Mensa and the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof Emmanuel Asante.
Their charges involve conspiracy to cause harm and assault against a public officer.
This follows a viral audio tape that contained a voice the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has identified as that of Mr Ofosu-Ampofo.
Former President H.E John Dramani Mahama stormed the court to support the NDC national Chairman and Kwaku Boahen.
Mr Mahama who is also the NDC flagbearer for election 2020 was seen in the court with NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah and a team of lawyers.
Also present at the court are some national officers and members of the party who are there to lend their support to their national officers.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has described the prosecution of his national officers as a political “persecution” to gag the NDC.
Mr Asiedu Nketiah
The NDC General Secretary believes the charges slapped on his party officials as “frivolous, trumped up and illogical.”
“The president, fully aware that he cannot fulfill the legion of utopian campaign promises made to Ghanaians, the President has devised a scheme to use malicious prosecutions of NDC functionaries to curry favour with the electorate,” Asiedu Nketiah stated in a strong worded statement copied to Myxyzonline.com.
He continued, “We demand fair and lawful treatment for all our members and an immediate end to this harassment. Despite our strong disagreement with this partisan prosecution, we demand fairness in the judicial process and it is our expectation that historical hostility to the NDC, whether real or perceived, will play no role in the determination of all cases and that only the facts of each case, the position of the law and the objective assessment of same will inform any outcome.”
Mr Asiedu Nketiah, however, averred the NDC would take every reasonable step to assert the innocence of the party officials.
Below is the statement
NDC DECRIES HARRASSMENT AND MALICIOUS PROSECUTION OF NATIONAL CHAIRMAN AND DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
The National Democratic Congress takes note of the scheduled commencement of the trial of our National Chairman, Hon Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and our Deputy National Communications Officer.
We wish to condemn in no uncertain terms, the politically-motivated persecution of our officials, cynically disguised as lawful prosecution. The NDC finds it curious that the Chief Justice having created the divisions for the High Court with fully constituted Criminal Division, the case of our National Chairman would be assigned to a Justice at the Commercial Division of the High Court. We hope there is no sinister motive behind it.
We are aware that the frivolous, trumped up and illogical charges brought against our officials form part of a grand scheme by an increasingly intolerant and vindictive Nana Akufo-Addo to gag the political opposition.
Mr. Akufo-Addo is under the misguided belief that this partisan prosecution will divert attention from his dismal display in government and the maladministration that is fast driving Ghana into a ditch.
Fully aware that he cannot fulfil the legion of utopian campaign promises made to Ghanaians, the President has devised a scheme to use malicious prosecutions of NDC functionaries to curry favour with the electorate.
We had however never thought that such crudeness and blatant disregard for the rights of our members would be the weapons of choice in this political vendetta. We have witnessed countless instances of harassment, intimidation, criminality, lawlessness and plain terrorism by hoodlums operating at his behest. Yet, he has not found it fit to prosecute the blood-thirsty bandits who have carried out these crimes against innocent citizens of Ghana, but is quick to sanction the abuse of prosecutorial powers to intimidate opponents on the flimsiest of premises.
How can a President fail so outrageously to act against terrorists belonging to his party who
attacked a Court in Kumasi and pretend that a tape of dubious authenticity in which innocuous commentary is made, can form the basis of any serious prosecution?
What kind of thinking went into this frivolous prosecution when the President’s Spiritual acolyte, Owusu Bempah, walks free after attacking a radio station with armed thugs?
How does the President reconcile his refusal to prosecute the terrorists who unleashed violence against innocent citizens of Ghana at the Ayawaso West Wuogon, with this victimization of our officials?
We are also outraged, that the Ghana Police Service, has become a laughing stock and are willing to be made a plaint tool in the political persecution of Akufo-Addo’s opponents.
We wish to make clear, that contrary to the Akufo Addo government’s belief that the maltreatment of our members, hasty media trials and the peddling of outrageous falsehoods against them will meet with a docile party, we will take every reasonable step to assert the innocence of our members and insist on respect for their fundamental human rights. We demand fair and lawful treatment for all our members and an immediate end to this harassment.
Despite our strong disagreement with this partisan prosecution, we demand fairness in the judicial process and it is our expectation that historical hostility to the NDC, whether real or perceived, will play no role in the determination of all cases and that only the facts of each case, the position of the law and the objective assessment of same will inform any outcome.
Finally, we assure President Akufo-Addo that his hypocrisy and quest to muscle the opposition through the misuse of security agencies and manipulation of judicial processes will fail. We will neither permit nor allow the erosion of all the gains made in our democratic dispensation only to satisfy the whim of a President whose actions appears to portray dictatorial tendencies.
We are unwilling to cede an inch of Ghana’s political space to a leader whose only approach to dissent is persecution. We are comforted that his disastrous performance as President will lead to his dismissal from office by the people of Ghana at the 2020 elections. This will afford the incoming NDC government the opportunity to right his wrongs and restore confidence and integrity into state institutions while promoting a climate of freedom and respect for all shades of opinion.
Meanwhile, we invite all well meaning Ghanaians to join the NDC in solidarity to defend the
fundamental human rights of our citizenry, during this moment of unbridled political persecution by the Akufo Addo led NPP government.
Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.