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13.11.2008 General News

Goodies, counsel absent from court

Goodies, counsel absent from court

The Managing Director of Goodies Music Productions, Isaac Abeidu Aidoo, who is standing trial for a narcotic offence was absent when his case was called at the Circuit Court in Accra yesterday.

The accused person, who has been remanded in prison custody, is alleged to have swallowed 80 pellets of cocaine and attempted to smuggle them to the United Kingdom on April 23, 2008 but was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport.

His counsel was also absent.

No reasons were assigned to the court for their absence.

When the matter was called for hearing, an Assistant State Attorney, Mr Paul Assibi Abariga, announced himself and said the prosecution was ready to continue with the case.

However, Goodies was nowhere in sight and as such the trial judge, Mr Mahamadu Iddrisu, had to enquire about his whereabouts.

A prison officer informed the court that he did not know why the accused person had not been brought to court.

The officer further explained that his senior colleague, who was at that particular moment at the Fast Track High Court, would be in a position to state why the accused person had not been brought.

The court then stood the case down and allowed the prison officer to go outside and enquire about the whereabouts of Goodies from his senior colleague.

After waiting for more than 30 minutes, the court had to adjourn the case to November 19, 2008 to enable the prosecutor to attend to other cases in other courts.

The trial judge, who had earlier in the trial expressed his misgivings over the failure of prison officers to produce the accused person in court on two occasions, expressed the hope that Goodies would be produced on the next adjourned date.

He said the case had had a chequered history and stated, for instance, that there had been seven adjournments without any development since the last prosecution witness testified.

According to Mr Abariga, Goodies' counsel had, for three consecutive hearings, absented himself without any reason, adding that the prosecution witnesses were ready to testify on a day-to-day basis.

A third prosecution witness is expected to testify at the next adjourned date.

Goodies, on July 8, 2008, pleaded not guilty to the possession of narcotics and the court has since remanded him in prison custody.

According to the prosecution, about 10.45 p.m. on April 23, this year when Goodies arrived at the KIA to board a Ghana International Airlines flight to London, operatives of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) suspected him of carrying drugs in his stomach.

Goodies was therefore, escorted to the 37 Military Hospital for an X-ray, which revealed that he had some foreign materials in his stomach.

He was subsequently arrested and put under surveillance and, in the process, he expelled 80 pellets of a whitish substance suspected to be cocaine.

Goodies informed the police during interrogation' that one Abdul Haid, a musician residing at East Legon, Accra, had given him the drugs to be delivered to one Willie for a fee of $3,000.