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13.07.2005 Crime & Punishment

Three cocoa purchasing clerks re-arrested after discharge


Akropong-Akuapem (E/R), July 13, GNA - Three cocoa purchasing clerks from the East Akim District charged with stealing and altering cocoa weighing scales, were on Tuesday re-arrested after they had been discharged by a circuit court at Akropong presided over by Mr Yaw Owusu Kwarteng. The three were discharged on a preliminary objection raised by defence counsel that the accused persons should not be charged on the same charge sheet as if they had conspired to commit the offence together and that they committed the offences at three different places and not at the same place. The three accused persons were taken to the Kibi Divisional Police Headquarters to be recharged after their discharge.

Giving reasons for discharging the accused persons, Mr Kwarteng said even though more than one person could be charged on the same sheet with the same offence, he believed that the three should be trial separately. He advised the prosecution to prepare separate charge sheets against each of the accused persons.

The facts of the case were that sometime last year, following complaint by some farmers, the East Akim District Assembly invited officials of the Ghana Standard Board to check the weighing scales of purchasing clerks in the District. Following the check it was detected that the cocoa weighing scales of some of the purchasing clerks in the including the accused persons, Daniel Abrokwa of Akim Akropong, Emmanuel Kumi Okai of Potrase and Seth Oteng Adjei of Wirenkyiren Amamfro were faulty.

The officials of the Ghana Standard Board ordered the purchasing clerks with the faulty weighing scales to correct the defects. Some weeks later, the officials of the Eastern Akim District Assembly and the Standard Board went round to check if the purchasing clerks with the defective weighing scales had corrected the defects on their scales but it was found that the accused persons had refused to comply with the advice.

They were therefore arrested and put before the Kibi Magistrate Court but the accused protested that they were not likely to get fair trial before the court and so the case was transferred to the Akropong Circuit Court.