DRAMA UNFOLDED at Kumasi Circuit Court One yesterday when a complainant in a high-profile criminal case announced that he was no more interested in pursuing the matter.
Appiah Stadium, a popular New Patriotic Party (NPP) serial caller in Kumasi, a plaintiff in a robbery case involving one Linsford Owuo a.k.a Ã¢â‚¬ËœCediÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, thrilled the court when he declared that he was withdrawing the case for the sake of peace.
However, DAILY GUIDE learnt that an out-of-court settlement had been reached between the two parties, and Cedi, an alleged National Democratic Congress (NDC) hoodlum, had already paid GHÃ‚Â¢2,000 as part of the GHÃ‚Â¢8,000 settlement deal.
The die-hard NPP supporter announced the withdrawal of interest in the case through Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie alias Ã¢â‚¬ËœSir JohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, a renowned Kumasi-based legal practitioner who held brief for the state chief attorney, William Pobee who was not in court.
Announcing the withdrawal of the complainantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interest in the case, Sir John indicated that he had the consent of the state chief attorney to make that declaration.
After the declaration of the discontinuation of the case, the defence counsel, led by Lawyers Mujeeb Rahman and Kwame Owusu Sekyere, rose up and wholeheartedly welcomed the decision.
Wanting to ascertain the veracity of the announcement, the presiding judge, Emmanuel Amo Yartey, asked Appiah Stadium who was present in court whether the declaration had his blessing.
Appiah Stadium who affirmatively responded to the judgeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s question, prayed the court to do everything within its power to liaise with the security agencies to ensure his safety.
Though scores of NPP supporters who besieged the court to give morale support to Appiah Stadium were displeased about the announcement, Amo Yartey had nothing to do but to grant Cedi bail.
Hundreds of NDC activists and Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmacho menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ who also stormed the court to offer morale support to Cedi, jumped into spontaneous jubilation when the judge pronounced the granting of bail to the suspect.
The jubilant supporters who called themselves Free Cedi Movement (FCM) and wore assorted Ã¢â‚¬ËœTÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ shirts with inscriptions such as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Free Cedi nowÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“No Cedi, no peaceÃ¢â‚¬Â, took over the premises of the court, singing and dancing to celebrate the news.
To further jubilate over the freeing of their idol from prison custody, the elated supporters held a procession through the principal streets of Kumasi singing and dancing to scintillating brass band music.
Information available to DAILY GUIDE indicated that a series of negotiation meetings took place behind the scenes between the plaintiff and defence counsel before the agreement to announce the withdrawal of the case was reached.
Deep-throat sources told the paper that the defence counsel accepted to pay an amount of GHÃ‚Â¢8,000 to the plaintiff to cover the cost of his Daewoo Lenox saloon car with registration number AS 8345 N, which was allegedly burnt beyond recognition by the defendant.
As a sign of determination to keep their promise, DAILY GUIDE gathered that the defence counsel after the court proceedings, paid an amount of GHÃ‚Â¢2,000 as part payment of the agreed GHÃ‚Â¢8,000, with a promise to pay the remaining amount the next court day.
Cedi was standing trial at the court for allegedly leading an unprovoked attack on Appiah Stadium and in the process, burning his Daewoo Lenox salon car valued at GHÃ‚Â¢7,100, and robbing him of an amount of GHÃ‚Â¢2,750 on Wednesday March 4 this year.
Appiah Stadium, according to the facts of the case, was driving the said car along the Asafo roundabout around 11:30 am when Cedi, in the company of four armed persons, allegedly stopped him and demanded his car keys.
Appiah Stadium was said to have obliged and was subsequently forced into his car and driven to Fante New-Town around O.A. Transport Services yard where he was later bundled into a waiting taxi cab.
His seized car and the taxi cab were afterwards driven to the Asem School Park where the suspect and his accomplices allegedly stole an amount of GHÃ‚Â¢2,750 from the car and later set it ablaze, burning it beyond recognition.
After the condemnable act, Appiah Stadium was driven in the same taxi cab from the Asem School Park through Amako towards an unknown destination, but fortunately he was rescued by some passers-by who heard him scream for help from the taxi.
Cedi who operates a gymnasium, was arrested at his Fante-New-Town residence on Thursday March 5, a day after he had allegedly visited the mayhem on Appiah Stadium.
He was purported to have publicly disclosed that he was operating on the orders of Daniel Ohene Agyekum, an allegation which the Ashanti regional chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) vehemently denied.
Cedi, it was alleged, had categorically declared that as long as he lives, he would make sure that life becomes unbearable for activists of NPP in Kumasi, especially those who call into radio programmes to defend the party and also criticize the ruling government.
Cedi was remanded into prison custody three times until yesterday when he was granted bail, following the withdrawal of the case by the complainant, Appiah Stadium.
From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi