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26.11.2009 General News

Judge lashes out at state prosecutor Come to court or I close your case

By Ivy Benson - Ghanaian Chronicle
Judge lashes out at state prosecutor Come to court or I close your case
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The trial judge in the 61 slabs of narcotic drug, weighing 71.7 kilogrammes found among sachets of chewing gums in a ship that docked at the Tema Port in the middle of this year, yesterday vent his spleen on the state prosecutors, when they failed to appear in court to proceed with the case.

The court, presided over by Justice Samuel Marful Sau, an Appeal Court judge sitting as an additional High Court judge, lashed out at the Principal State Attorney, noting, “I do not allow counsel to manage my case; I owe my duty to the taxpayer; It is not only the state that needs justice, the accused person also needs justice.” “You keep somebody in prison, and sit in your office to adjourn the case.”

The comments of the judge followed a communication from to the Principal State Attorney, Mr. Siamah-Sampong, asking permission for the case to be adjourned to December 1, 2009, since he had been scheduled to attend a training seminar from November 24 to 26, this year.

Despite the pleadings of a junior state prosecutor from the Attorney General's Department, holding brief for the Principal State Attorney, the trial judge warned that he would close the case of the prosecution, if the prosecutor fails to appear in court to proceed with the prosecution of the case, and asked the defense to open their case.

According to the court, the circumstance under which the adjournment was sought by the prosecution was unwarranted and uncalled for, and therefore adjourned sitting to today, November 26, 2009 for continuation.

The suspect, Augustina Abu, was charged together with an importer, Yaw Nkansah Attah, a clearing agent, Alfred Amedzi, the Managing Director of Secko Agency, Kennedy Osei and Simon Fafa Bedu, both workers of Secko Agency Limited, and Francis Abbey, a driver, after they were arrested by a joint patrol team, consisting of officers from the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA) and Police Service, on suspicion of dealing in narcotic drugs.

However, the rest, with the exception of Augustina Abu, had been discharged unconditionally after a new charge of importation of narcotic drug without authority was brought against the latter.

The 61 slabs of narcotic drugs, weighing 71.7 kilogrammes, found among sachets of chewing gum in a container, were on May 15, this year, imported through M/V Mearsk Nolanville, which docked at the Tema Port from Ecuador, Panama, and Spain.

The container, numbered MSKU 0118160, and manifested to contain 1,880 cartons of chewing gum, was imported by Augustina Abu of Augustina Abu Enterprise.

The said container was then tagged by the Joint Port Control Unit (JPCU), indicating that the container could only be opened and examined in the presence of the joint security control team at the port.

On May 19, 2009, at about 3.30 p.m., the said container was scanned and the images disclosed that it contained suspicious objects.

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