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27.10.2004 Crime & Punishment

Accused divorces his counsel in court

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Obuasi, Oct. 27, GNA - Peter Kwame Akomaning, 53, a businessman, who is standing trial at the Obuasi Circuit Court, on Tuesday caused a scene when he told the court that he no longer needs the services of his counsel, Mr Hansen Kodua from Kumasi and that he was prepared to defend the case himself.

Akomaning was at the court charged with offensive conduct, conducive to the breach of peace. He was alleged to have engaged the services of three unidentified uniformed soldiers to harass and intimidate one Joseph Kwaku Duah of Obuasi, who operate an Internet business with him.

The accused, before cross-examining one of the three witnesses in the case, Edward Akuoko, the news editor of Shaft FM, told the court, "I have dismissed the services of my lawyer because I am not interested in the way he is handling the case and that I am prepared to defend myself".

In the course of the cross-examination, lawyer Kodua arrived at the court from Kumasi only to be told that his client had fired him. Disturbed about the development, lawyer Kodua explained the circumstances that led to his lateness to court and after sitting down briefly, he sought permission from the court presided over by Mr Justice E.A. Asante and left.

The facts of the case as presented to the court by Chief Inspector M.Y. Agumah was that Duah, who is the complainant, had become a member of the Golden Circle International Network, an international 'susu' company with its headquarters in Germany.

In July this year, he became suspicious about the accused, who had claimed to be the director of the Network in Ghana over the manipulation of his winnings and dividends and thereby confronted him.

The prosecution said on July 30, the complainant, Akomaning and some mediators met to resolve the issue but they could not, and therefore fixed the next day to revisit the matter.

Surprisingly, Akomaning returned the following day with three soldiers, who started to harass and intimidate Duah at the 'Stop and Shop' supermarket near the Obuasi Zongo area, which attracted a large crowd. The prosecution said after arresting the accused, all efforts to get him to identify the three soldiers had failed. Hearing continues on November 11.

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