The High Court hearing the criminal case against the National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has adjourned the case because the second prosecution witness has quarantined himself following the outbreak of the deadly bug.
The witness who is an employee of the Multimedia Group according to the prosecution has been under quarantine after returning from the United Kingdom last week.
Samuel Ofosu Ampofo is standing trial together with Anthony Kwaku Boahen, a Deputy Communications Officer of the NDC, over an alleged leaked tape in which the NDC National Chairman allegedly incited violence against the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs. Jean Mensa, and the Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante.
The two had pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit assault against a public officer while Ofosu-Ampofo has pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault against a public officer.
Coronavirus outbreak in Ghana
Ghana has so far recorded seven cases of COVID-19.
As part of measures put in place by the government to prevent the spread of the virus, the Minister of Information over the weekend announced a “mandatory 14 days self-quarantine for persons who are otherwise allowed to enter the country amidst the travel advisory. This applies to only citizens and foreigners with a resident permit”.
“There will now be a mandatory 14 days self-quarantine for persons who are otherwise allowed to enter the Ghanaian jurisdiction. Guidelines for the self-quarantine will be available at the various Ghanaian port of entry,” he said.
Precautionary measures in Ghana’s court
Meanwhile, the Judicial service has intensified measures to protect its workers and court users from being infected with the novel coronavirus.
At the law court complex which houses over forty high courts, hand sanitizers have been provided at all entry points into the main building. Also, each floor of the five-floor building has sanitizers fixed.
The number of listed cases have also reduced to help manage the number of people who visit the courts daily. Ofosu Ampofo challenges evidence
Samuel Ofosu Ampofo had earlier filed a case at the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of the High Court to accept the statement that was allegedly made by the state's principal witness.
He subsequently filed an application to halt proceedings at the High Court to allow for the appeal proceedings to end, but the Accra High Court refused the application.
But the High Court judge, Justice Samuel Asiedu disagreed with the application saying among other things that if the application was granted, it will unnecessarily delay the ongoing trial. Ofosu Ampofo trial: State's witness stands by 'controversial' statement
At a previous sitting , the first prosecution witness told the court that he stands by the content of his witness statement despite earlier claiming that he signed the document without reading it.
The witness Benjamin Ampofo Adjei who is a broadcast journalist with Adom FM, on his appearance weeks ago denied authoring the content of his statement despite having his signature beneath it.
When further pressed by the defence lawyers, Mr. Ampofo Adjei clarified that he could vouch for the content of the statement relating it with his interview with the second accused person, Kweku Boahen.