‘Bulldog Is Innocent Until Proven Guilty’
Legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Ayenini has cautioned the general public to desist from pronouncing judgment on Nana Asiama Hanson (Bulldog), who police say is a prime suspect in the death of Fennec Okyere.
Bulldog, who is the manager of Dancehall artiste Shatta Wale, was picked up around 15:45 hours Thursday in Kokomlemle, a suburb of Accra, in relation to Fennec’s death.
Fennec Okyere, who was the manager of the controversial musician, Kwaw Kese, was killed at his Manet Gardens residence on the Spintex Road, Accra on Thursday, March 13 by unknown assailants. He was 31.
According to the Police Criminal Investigative Department (CID), Bulldog, the lead suspect in the gruesome murder of Fennec is alleged to have threatened to kill him. The CID said Asiama Hanson sent several “threatening messages” both verbal and text, showing his intent to kill Fennec.
Commenting on the arrest by the police and developments after that, Samson Lardy Ayenini told Myjoyonline.com that it is not prudent for the general public to hold a public trial and declare Bulldog guilty when the police have not proven so.
According to him, it is important “to highlight the need for people not to impute any guilt until the police have successfully proven him his guilt in court or he himself pleads guilty. The public trial is so very disrespectful of our constitution.”
The Legal practitioner also expressed worry at the police choice of calling Bulldog, who is also the CEO of Bull Haus Entertainment, a “suspect instead of the suggested American style of a person of interest.”
Making reference to a post by Legal practitioner, Kwame Boafo Akuffo on the matter, Samson Lardy Ayenini said, “Snr. Kwame rightly observes he ought to have been treated as a “person of interest” and not a “suspect” at this stage.”
Samson explained that, “Person of Interest generally is one who has information about and is assisting investigations into a crime. But do we blame our police for choosing to call him a suspect since they seem oblivious of this nice concept, even though the Americans who use it still have not found a legal meaning for it?
“In the particular circumstances, could it be that the police thought recourse to person of interest would have meant an option for voluntary submission rather than recourse to suspect which leaves the guy without choice to submit to their investigations?
“Dilemma or not, we ought to respect our Constitution when it says a suspect is innocent until he pleads or is proven guilty. The police also know too well that the standard to meet is proof beyond reasonable doubt and the courts like Blackstone when he reminds us that: ‘it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer’,” the Legal practitioner added.