Four persons who have been arrested in connection with the murder of a senior law lecturer of the University of Ghana, Prof. Emmanuel Yaw Benneh, were yesterday put before the Kaneshie Magistrate Court in Accra.
The four — James Nana Womba, 26, cleaner; Isaac Botchwey, 41, houseboy; Christian Pobee, 32, cleaner, and Adams Mensah Mansur, 52, a gardener, who were all workers in the Adjiringanor residence of the law lecturer — have each been charged with murder contrary to Section 46 of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, (Act 29) 1960.
The brief fact of the case presented by the prosecution led by Inspector Ebenezer Teye-Okuffo indicated that the late Prof. Benneh was found dead in his house on September 12, 2020.
He told the court that the police found the victim lying in a pool of blood with his hands and legs tied together on a corridor leading to his bedroom.
The court heard that the deceased had marks of assault on his body with a rag stuck in his mouth.
Inspector Teye-Okuffo also told the court that the body of the deceased was in a state of decay when it was found and it had since been deposited at the Police Hospital for autopsy.
Robert Esumaa, Counsel for Isaac Botchwey and Adams Mensah Mansur, attempted to secure bail for his clients pending trial, telling the court that the facts presented by the prosecution failed to establish the element of murder against the two.
He said the demise of the late lecturer is a big blow not only to his family but also to the legal fraternity and the entire country, and the culprits must be dealt with accordingly but the police needed to do a thorough investigation in order not to violate the rights of innocent people such as his clients.
The application was opposed by Inspector Teye-Okuffo who said the police were still investigating the matter and granting the accused persons bail could derail their efforts.
He said the police were yet to seek a court order to go through the mobile phones of the accused persons and have also written to MTN and Vodafone Ghana Limited for communication of the accused persons.
The court presided over by Magistrate Eleanor Barnes-Botchway then ruled that the offence with which the accused persons have been charged with is a first degree felony and the court did not have jurisdiction to grant bail in such matters and, therefore, remanded the accused persons in police custody until September 30.