The embattled National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, has renewed attempts to have the charges against him over a leaked tape thrown out of court.
His lawyers have filed an application before an Accra High Court, hearing his case to challenge the ‘constitutionality’ of the audio recording which led to his arrest and subsequent arraignment.
Ofosu-Ampofo and the party’s Deputy Communications Officer, Anthony Kwaku Boahen, have been charged in respect of the leaked tape which captured how the NDC is allegedly planning to commit crimes in the country and turn round to blame them on the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The alleged leaked tape is among a list of documents filed by the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department for the trial of the two NDC top officials.
His lawyers are now challenging the ‘authenticity’ and ‘constitutionality’ of the tape which the prosecution intends to rely on for his trial.
The application which is scheduled to be heard on November 4, 2019 is questioning how the audio was obtained and the fact that it infringes on the constitutional right of Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo.
This is not the first time his lawyers have tried to have the charges against him dropped and the trial stopped.
His lawyers at the beginning of the trial filed an application to strike out the two charges of assault against a public officer.
His lawyers argued that failure by the AG to provide particulars of the charges constitutes a ‘defect’ and, therefore, he cannot be called to answer to them.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, however, opposed the application and urged the court to disregard it.
The presiding Judge, Justice Samuel K. Asiedu, dismissed the application on the grounds that the charges were valid and the defect, as stated by the lawyer, was not fatal to the trial.
Meanwhile, his lawyers have filed a repeat application for stay of proceedings at the Court of Appeal, pending the determination of an appeal against the judge’s decision to dismiss their earlier application for stay of proceedings.
Tony Lithur, who represents Ofosu-Ampofo, on July 30 moved a motion urging the court to stay its proceedings while they appeal the trial court’s ruling.
He told the court that there were exceptional circumstances for which the court should stay its proceedings.
He averred that the court was enjoined to protect fundamental human rights; one which he said included protection against “oppressive criminal charges” being perpetrated by the state against the NDC gurus.
He, therefore, said the court should stay its proceedings to allow them to argue their case before the Court of Appeal.
The state represented by Asiama Sampong, a Chief State Attorney, opposed the application saying it did not raise any special circumstances for which the proceedings should be stayed.
He said the issue of the protection of the fundamental human rights of the accused person would be dealt with during the trial and prayed the court to refuse the application.
Mr. Sampong described the application as frivolous and an abuse of the court process.
The trial Judge, Justice Asiedu, dismissed the application and adjourned the case to October 17 for continuation. It is this decision that Ofosu-Ampofo is challenging at the Court of Appeal.
At yesterday’s proceedings, Mr. Lithur informed the court about the pendency of the application at the Court of Appeal and asked for an adjournment.
Atakora-Obuobisa, in response, said they were served with the application only two days ago and they had filed their response accordingly.
The matter was adjourned to November 4, 2019.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak
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Source Author: Daniel Frimpong