26.08.2004 Crime & Punishment

Counsels of Nii Lantey to submit "no case"

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Accra, Aug.25, GNA - The Prosecution in the case in which Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate of Odododiodoo Constituency in Accra Metropolis, and two others are being tried for electoral fraud on Thursday closed its case before an Accra Circuit Court.

Defence Counsels said they would make a submission of no case on behalf of their clients.

The Court chaired by Mr Williwise Kyeremeh asked defence Counsels to file their submissions by September 9 to enable the Prosecution to file its response.

Defence and Prosecution are expected to argue their submissions in Court on October 7.

Nii Lantey, a Broadcast Journalist, has pleaded not guilty to abetment of crime.

His accomplices, Musah Fuseini also known as Alhaji Musah and Gariba Mohammed charged for registering voters without authority also pleaded not guilty. They are on 30 million cedis bail each.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ransford Larbi Biney answering questions from Mr Samuel Ofori, Counsel for Fuseini and Mohammed, denied that the Police induced his clients with food and drink to get information.

ASP Biney, who is also the investigator of the case, stated that Fuseini and Mohammed gave voluntary statements.

He disagreed with Counsel that he assured Fuseini and Mohammed not to panic and that the Police were targeting Nii Lantey.

The investigator maintained that Fuseini and Mohammed registered twice and that investigation indicated that they registered at Ablekumah South and Odododiodio Constituencies.

ASP Biney disagreed with Counsel that the Prosecution Witnesses were given registration form and not voter's registration slips. He maintained that he first commenced his investigation at the Electoral Commission on July 23, 2004 after writing to the Commission on the matter.

He said he arrested the accused persons on July 24, took their Charge Statements on July 25 and sent them to court on July 26. Counsel: While conducting your investigations did the name Bansa Boquaye arise?

ASP Biney: Yes the name came up in some statements.

Counsel: Did you care to find out or arrest Bansa Boquaye, who is said to have led the accused persons and witnesses to the polling centre?

ASP Biney: I did not bother to arrest him. Counsel: I suggest to you that your investigation was not complete?

ASP Biney: I did what I could.

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