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Regional News | Apr 17, 2004

Defence counsel turns down offer of amicable settlement

GNA

Elmina, Apr 17, GNA - The case in which Joseph Frank Jones, a personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service(GNFS)stationed at Elmina, is standing trial before a district court in the town, for allegedly assaulting his immediate boss, took a dramatic turn on Friday, when his counsel, turned down an offer by the central regional fire officer, to have the case "resolved at the departmental level".

On hearing that the regional fire officer had written to the court seeking its permission to settle the case out of court, Jones' counsel, Mr Joseph Appiatse, said he wants the trial to go on, since the case was already in court, but the presiding judge, Mr Kwame Ohene Essel, advised him to reconsider his stance, "because it does not pay to drag issues."

He therefore, adjourned the case to May 15, to facilitate its amicable settlement, and granted Jones, who has pleaded not guilty and was remanded in prison custody when he was first arraigned before the court last week Wednesday, five million cedis bail, with a warning against any further misconduct.

The case for the prosecution is that the complainant, is the district officer In-Charge of the GNFS office at Elmina, while the accused works under him.

It alleged that on March 5 this year at about 8.30 am, the accused accompanied by two employees of the Komenda- Edina-Eguafo-Abrem district assembly, went to the complainant's office to resolve a dispute between him and his boss.

It further alleged that in the process of their deliberations, a misunderstanding arose between the two firemen again, bringing the meeting to an abrupt end.

The two employees of the district assembly left, and Jones who was left in the room with his boss, allegedly became angry and accused him of refusing to listen to him whenever there was a problem.

He then locked the door to his boss's office and beat him up until he became unconscious and left him to his fate, and the complainant who regained consciousness some time later, screamed for help.

The prosecution said his screams attracted workers of other departments in the building, who reported the matter to the district co-ordinating director and the complainant was rushed to the hospital and the matter was reported to the police.

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