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13.04.2004 Regional News

Magistrate court commits murder case to High Court

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Nkawie (Ash), April 13, GNA- A defence counsel and a police prosecutor traded insults at the Nkawie magistrate court on Wednesday over the granting of bail to an accused person standing trial for murder.

While Mr J.E. Amoako Kusi, the defence counsel for Kwadwo Akwaboah, the accused prayed the court to uphold the earlier bail granted his client by the same court, Police Inspector Ben Mensah, the prosecutor, opposed the bail on the grounds that it was not proper to grant bail to an accused person on a murder charge.

The opposition to the granting of the bail drew a sharp retort from the defence counsel, which did not go down well with the prosecutor who also replied, resulting in a hot exchange of words, which attracted a large crowd to the courtroom.

Not even the caution from the presiding magistrate, Mr Beresford Safo Acquah could stop them from trading insults.

When calm was restored, the court committed the accused to stand trial at the High Court and was therefore remanded in prison custody to appear at the High Court on April 30.

Inspector Mensah had told the court that, one Kwame Baafi, before his death, lived in the same town, Anwiafutu in the Atwima district with the accused.

He said at about 7 pm on October 30, 2001, Baafi requested one Ama Konadu, his brother's wife, who had her hairdressing salon at the accused's father's house to close for the day.

But Konadu, according to Inspector Mensah, did not heed the order of Baafi and continued to work, resulting in a quarrel between them. He said in the course of the quarrel, Akwaboah and his sister who lived nearby came to separate them and that Akwaboah went back to the house leaving his sister behind who later picked a quarrel with Baafi. Inspector Mensah said Akwaboah returned to the scene again and without any provocation from Baafi, Akwaboah picked a club from a platform for drying cocoa beans and hit Baafi on the head sending him to the ground unconscious.

He said Baafi was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi but died the following day. Inspector Mensah said Akwaboah on hearing of the death of Baafi, fled the town until December 10, 2001 when he reported himself to the police.