LAWYER FOR Kennedy Agyepong has indicated his intention to file a submission of no case. Kennedy Agyepong, Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, is on trial for provocation of riot.
Joseph Ayikoi Otoo, a former Attorney General representing the MP, moved his oral submission at an Accra Circuit court yesterday but the trial judge Ebenezer Osei Darko asked him to bring a formal application.
The judge declined to hear the application orally because he said he wanted to give the prosecution, led by Principal State Attorney, Anthony Rexford Wiredu, the opportunity to respond to it.
Earlier when Mr. Ayikoi Otoo started with his submission indicating to the court that he was relying on Article 173 and 174 of Act 30, Mr. Wiredu interrupted praying the court not to allow counsel to move his application.
Mr. Wiredu argued that the authorities cited by Mr. Otoo did not give the defence the right to make a submission of no case but rather the court.
He explained that under Article 174 of the Act, it was the court that could enter a submission of no case for the accused after the prosecution had finished its case and, therefore, not the duty of the defence to file the submission.
Mr. Wiredu also asked the court to disallow the application in order to give the prosecution and the defence a fair trial as stipulated under article 19 of the constitution.
According to him, there is no statutory position covering an appeal of a submission of no case made by the Circuit court so if the court obliged the defence their application, the prosecution would not be able to appeal and the case would end there.
He stated that ‘if I cannot appeal against your decision and it goes in favour of the accused then I have not been given a fair trial. Let the trial end and if the accused loses, he can go on appeal and if we lose too, we can go on appeal’.
However, Mr. Ayikoi Otoo disagreed with the prosecutor’s submissions and indicated that the issue of fair trial is for the benefit of the accused and not prosecution.
According to Mr. Otoo, the said article is to protect the right of the accused person while on trial.
Counsel, who stated that everybody was bound by the laws of Ghana and that Mr. Wiredu could not use his own law further, stated that if the law did not allow appeal on submission of no case by circuit court, it did not stop them from moving their application.
Quoting authorities, Mr. Otoo said the prosecution did not even have a right to reply to their application and even go ahead to oppose it.
Mr. Osei Darko later asked them to cease fire and allowed Mr. Ayikoi Otoo to continue with his application.
However, Mr. Otoo did not go far with his oral submission when the judge intercepted and asked him to bring a formal application.
The case has been adjourned to May 22, 2013.
Earlier Mr. Wiredu brought two tapes with recordings of what Mr. Kennedy Agyepong had allegedly said on radio for which he was in the dock facing trial. The tapes, which according to the investigator were obtained from Oman FM and a police source ,were played in open court.
The accused was arrested on Monday, April 16, 2012, after he was invited by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service over statements he allegedly made on his Accra-based radio station, Oman FM.
He was alleged to have ‘declared war’ and vowed to lynch any fake security operative following the alleged physical attack on Ms Ursula Owusu, the MP for Ablekuma West and Mr Abu Jinapor, an aide to the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at Odododiodoo during the biometric registration exercise.
The MP reportedly further asked Akans to beat Voltarians and Gas.
The MP has pleaded not guilty to provocation to riot and offensive conduct.
By Mary Anane