Marwako Man Caged
Jihad Chaaban, the 26-year-old manager who allegedly dipped the head of Evelyn Boakye, an employee of Marwako Restaurant at Abelemkpe in Accra, into blended pepper on February 26, 2017, has been hauled before the Abeka District Court for assault.
According to the prosecution, led by Chief Inspector H.A. Hanson, the accused offensively conducted himself when he angrily called the complainant a “prostitute.”
Jihad is facing an additional charge of intentionally and unlawfully causing harm to Evelyn.
Jihad was the cynosure of all eyes when he was ushered into the court at exactly 8:30 am closely marked by stern-looking weapon-wielding police officers.
The formal charge of the accused yesterday followed a botched attempt to arraign him before the court on Tuesday.
Before trial magistrate Victoria Akua Ghansah, Jihad, who was represented by Lawyer Augustine Asafo Adjei, vehemently denied all the three charges.
In an attempt at bail, Augustine stated that his client had denied the charges preferred against him by the prosecution, indicative of the fact that Jihad had a defence which would be before the court at the appropriate time.
He said Jihad is a Ghanaian, who has a fixed place of abode and that the company he works for is also a Ghanaian entity.
According to Augustine, Jihad did not do what he has been alleged to have done, adding that the court has an unfettered jurisdiction to grant bail to the accused.
He urged the court to admit Jihad to bail in flexible terms so that meeting the conditions of the bail would not be difficult.
Opposing the bail application, Chief Inspector Hanson, argued that the witnesses in the case are workers of the eatery where the accused is still a manager.
He said the witnesses would be scared to testify in the trial for fear of being dismissed, insisting that Jihad would interfere with further investigations of the prosecution.
But Augustine disagreed, claiming that Jihad had been suspended as the manager of the branch awaiting disciplinary action from the company.
He said Evelyn had also been granted paid leave, adding that the complainant was also being supported by the company.
The lawyer stated that the accused was in the custody of the police and that there was no interference.
Chief Inspector Hanson, in a rebuttal, contended that the police had bailed Jihad but upon realizing that he was interfering with the investigation of the police, he was re-arrested to be brought before court.
When asked whether or not the grant of bail would hamper police investigation, the case investigator, Inspector Eunice Ashiagbor, said no, making nonsense of the prosecutor's objection to bail.
Chief Inspector Hanson, as a result, said the District Commander under whom the investigator worked was the one to speak to the issue.
DSP Edward Tetteh, the Tesano District Commander, said it was so early to grant the bail to Jihad.
He stated that the case had been a public interest one and that the security of the accused was at stake.
He opined that it was necessary the court refused the bail.
Augustine said it was sad the prosecution was twisting the law to suit its interest.
The judge, in a ruling, refused the bail, citing the safety of the accused as the reason.
The police yesterday averted a reprisal attack on the management of the Abelemkpe Branch of Marwako Restaurant.
The attack was an apparent response to the supposed inhumane treatment meted out to Evelyn Boakye by Jihad Chaaban.
DAILY GUIDE 'S sources say the manager had made a distress call to his friends who also in turn mobilized some young men from Mamobi, New Town and Pig Farm to rescue the management from the attacks of the mob.
According to the source, it took the intervention of some Islamic clerics and opinion leaders in the locality to disperse the bellicose mob.
As at 2:25 pm when this paper visited the place, there were over 10 armed policemen guarding the place.
The restaurant had also suspended its operations and recalled its staff from the other branches to the Abelemkpe branch.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson