General News of Tuesday, 12 February 2013
A 38-year-old farmer from Ahiamadzikope, near Kpeve-Tornu in the South Dayi District in the Volta Region, appeared before the Ho High Court Monday on two charges of murder and attempted suicide.
Apuru Nugbor Hediku pleaded not guilty to the two charges preferred against him by a Senior State Attorney, Mr Simon Adatsi, at the court, presided over by Mr Justice Patrick Bayeeh.
According to Mr Adatsi, the accused person used a single-barrelled gun to shoot his wife, Janet Ladzekpo, and killing her instantly.
After allegedly killing his wife in August 2010, Hediku attempted to kill himself when he thrust the muzzle of the gun into his mouth and shot himself but he only suffered severe injuries in the upper jaw.
Mr Adatsi gave the facts of the case after the opening of the criminal assizes in Ho Monday.
A seven-man jury has been constituted to hear and adjudicate the case.
In all, 98 cases have been listed to appear before the court.
Opening the assizes, Mr Bayeeh said there were 47 murder cases, eight manslaughter cases, 31 rape cases, seven attempted murder cases, one attempted rape case and three armed robbery cases listed to be heard.
He said it was a heavy schedule for the court in the season and called on all players in the administration of justice to commit themselves in order to dispose of as many cases as possible.
Mr Bayeeh asked jurors to see their roles as very important, adding that punctuality and a high sense of duty must be their watch words.
He said there was injustice if people were kept for a long time before trial and called on all partners, including the police, the Prisons Service, court clerks and other stakeholders, to demonstrate a high sense of duty in their work to avoid unnecessary delays.
In an address, the Chief State Attorney for the Volta Region, Mr Agbeko Krah, appealed for cooperation from all to improve on performance, adding that the police, as investigator jurors and defence lawyers to always avail themselves at the court to help advance the administration of justice.
A representative of the Volta Regional Division of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr Ernest Gaewu, pledged the support and cooperation of lawyers, saying, “Lawyers are ever ready to work and cooperate with all.”
An official of the Ghana Prisons Service, Superintendent Emmanuel Briandt, underscored the need for the enforcement of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practices in court to give way to custodial sentences.
The Volta Regional Crime Officer of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Reuben Asiwoko, said a major problem facing the police was the inability of witnesses to avail themselves but gave an assurance that every effort would be made, without fear or favour, to ensure protection for all in society.