Another Arrest In Tehoda Case
ONE MICHAEL Adu Gyamfi, a suspect who is believed to have a hand in the mysterious cocaine turned soda issue, is in the grips of the police and is being investigated for an alleged role he played in the case.
The State Attorney prosecuting the case of DSP Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda, Anthony Rexford Wiredu, informed the court about the new development and this was confirmed by the investigator, Chief Inspector Paul Mahama, who added that the suspect was arrested last week.
Following this, Mr. Wiredu, who was ordered by the court on June 6 to start his case yesterday, informed the judge that the matter was still under investigation and would need time to gather all the facts.
He agreed that it was worrisome for the accused to be coming to court all the time for the matter to be adjourned but explained that the prosecution wanted to unearth all new development.
He further informed the judge that the prosecution was doing its best to have the matter started in no time, indicating that he, together with the Acting Director of Public Prosecution and a consultant, had a meeting with the Attorney General on how the issue should be handled.
The presiding judge, Francis Obiri, asked Mr. Wiredu about the law which allowed the halting of a trial till an accomplice was completely investigated but Mr. Wiredu admitted that there is no such law, adding that even the criminal procedure code allowed that the accomplice could be tried before, after or with the accused person.
He however reminded the judge that the accused person's liberty was not being threatened by anyone as she was on bail.
E.A. Vordoagu, counsel for DSP Tehoda, reminded the court about the subpoena which Mr. Wiredu said he was going to serve on the witnesses to appear in court.
When asked by the court how far they had gone in subpoenaing the witnesses, Mr. Wiredu stated that the investigator just arrived from an assignment and would do that later.
The judge was however unhappy with this explanation after Mr. Vordoagu notified the court that the state had not even filed the said process.
Mr. Vordoagu, who believed that no subpoena had been prepared, prayed the court to order one Mr. Pius, the man prosecution said had the subpoena, to appear before the court but the judge declined.
Counsel said, 'If the subpoena had been filed, the excuse would have been tangible. It means on the next adjourned date, if the subpoena is not filed, the prosecution will bring another excuse. We are ready for this case. The accused is on interdiction. In the interest of justice, the case should be heard for the accused to know her fate'.
The argument between the two parties became interesting when the judge said to Mr. Wiredu, 'I'm ready let's start' and Mr. Wiredu responded, 'My lord I'm not ready, I pray for a date'.
Counsel then argued that the prosecution was not interested in prosecuting the matter. In view of this, he stated, the court should discharge his client, adding that so much harm had been done to her reputation. He also observed that the delay in prosecution was also affecting her work as she was on interdiction.
The judge then asked Mr. Wiredu to justify why he should not discharge the accused and Mr. Wiredu said he could not tell the court what to do.
But with a smile, he said, 'Discharge or no discharge, it will not worry anybody. If she is discharged today, we can go for her tomorrow when we are ready and it will not affect anybody. We are only asking for a date to complete investigations. The wheels of justice grind slowly but we will get there. I want every body to relax and watch me.'
The court, though unhappy with the situation after counting the number of times the case had been adjourned at the instance of the prosecution, decided to give the state two weeks as pleaded.
Judge Obiri however descended heavily on the prosecution for not taking the orders of the court seriously, indicating that it is too dangerous for the state to do that.
Expressing his displeasure over the behavior of the prosecution and litigants, the judge observed that they took cases to court and went to bed, making the matter an albatross around the necks of accused persons.
He said it was not good for the state to adopt such a strategy.
'It appears to the court that the state wants to set new rules for the court. If the state does not start the case on the next adjourned date, the court will discharge the accused unconditionally'.
The case has been adjourned to June 28.
DSP Tehoda is standing trial on two counts of abetment of crime to wit undertaking an activity relating to narcotic drug, contrary to section 56(c) and 3(2) of the PNDCL 236 Narcotics drug (Control, Enforcement and Sanction Act 1990).
The accused has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently on a GH¢100,000 bail with two sureties.
By Mary Anane