04.05.2004 General News

Court filled to capacity by UCC students.

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Cape Coast, May 4, GNA - The Cape Coast district magistrate court was by 8 am on Tuesday filled to capacity by the students of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to hear proceedings of the case against Michael Opare Berkoe, a 20 year- old student of the University who was alleged to have murdered Miss Annetta Adjei Boafo, also of the UCC. Most of the students were clad in mourning dresses and red mufflers as a sign of the mourning mood in which they were.

The accused was not brought to the court until after twelve in the afternoon, and when he finally appeared at the court, word went round the court premises and those standing outside rushed into the already crowded court room to also catch a glimpse of him and hear the proceedings.

Berkoe whose plea was not taken was remanded into prison custody to re-appear on May 14, 2004, by Mr Peter Alex Asare Duah, the presiding magistrate.

Chief Inspector Augustine Amonoo, the prosecutor told the crowded court that the accused and Miss Boafo were intimate friends at Dansoman, a suburb of Accra even prior to their admission at the UCC, and both attended senior secondary schools in the Central Region.

According to the prosecutor, both gained admission at the UCC in 2003 where their friendship continued, until February 2004 when the accused detected that, Miss Boafo had got a new boy-friend, and he therefore warned the deceased to stop her relationship with the new boy-friend, but she did not heed.

Chief Inspector Amonoo said, on April 27, 2004 the accused visited the deceased at the New Hall, which is her hall of residence, where after eating together, Berkoe raised the topic about the deceased's new boy-friend.

This sparked a quarrel between them, and in the process, the accused who had a knife in his pocket at that time stabbed Miss Boafo to death, locked the room and took away the key.

The prosecutor said, the accused then went and lodged at Mudek hotel in Cape Coast, where he attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself but failed, and on the following day, he travelled to Mampong- Akwapim, his home-town.

According to Chief Inspector Amonoo, the accused took a quantity of sleeping tablets, popularly called, "blue-blue" at his hometown, and was found unconscious in his room the next day, and was rushed to the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital at Mampong Akwapim for treatment. On April 28 a report was made to the regional police headquarters by the university authorities on the alleged murder of Miss Boafo, and upon a tip-off Berkoe who was on admission at the hospital, was arrested on discharge and brought to Cape Coast for prosecution. Mr Amonoo therefore, prayed the court to remand the accused for two weeks to enable prosecution complete its investigations, and forward the docket to the Attorney-General's office for advice, and Mr Peter Alex Asare Duah, the presiding magistrate granted the prosecutor's request.

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