The Accra Fast Track High Court Tuesday revoked the bail it granted to Constable Ebenezer Owusu, who is standing trial for allegedly shooting and killing two persons at the Ho Residency during the tenure of Mr Kofi Dzamesi as the Volta Regional Minister in 2008.
The court took the decision after a Chief State Attorney, Mr Rex Anthony Wiredu, had argued successfully that the accused person be remanded, given the “severe nature” of the crime he had committed.
He was subsequently remanded in police custody to reappear before the court on March 10, 2014.
Meanwhile, a seven-member jury has been constituted for the commencement of the trial.
Owusu allegedly used an AK47 assault rifle to shoot Daniel Dzikunu Agbale and a former Ho Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent Theophilus T. Nartey, on June 2, 2008.
Severe and serious crime
Owusu was charged with manslaughter and murder but pleaded not guilty to both charges before the court, presided over by Mr Justice M. H. Logoh.
Mr Wiredu told the court in Accra yesterday that the nature of the crime committed by the accused person was so “serious and severe and he should, therefore, not be allowed bail”.
“Constable Owusu intentionally caused the death of Agbale and Superintendent Nartey through reckless gunshots and now that he has been committed to stand trial and knows the charges and bill of indictment, it is quite clear he will jump bail,” he stated.
He said the law did not permit the granting of bail to persons charged with treason, subversion, murder, robbery, hijacking, piracy, rape, defilement or escape from lawful custody.
Being in custody for long
However, Mr Kwabena A. Offei-Badu, who held brief for counsel for the accused, Mr Ayikoi Otoo, told the court that Owusu was arrested on April 6, 2011 and went through service enquiry in which he was cleared and transferred from Ho to Tamale to continue his service.
“He was not formally charged until he was invited by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and kept in custody till he was granted bail on November 27, 2013.
“He never ran away and he will never do so if he is granted bail.
“As a serving police officer, he knows the implications of jumping bail and will make himself available to the court any time and any day,” he told the court.
The facts of the case, as presented by Mr Wiredu, are that Owusu was a service police constable presently stationed at Tamale.
In 2008, he said, Owusu was stationed at the Mobile Force Unit in Ho and on June 2, 2008, he and General Constable John Ofori Ankomah were on guard duties at the Ho Residency of the former Volta Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Dzamesi.
While on duty at about 9 p.m, one Daniel Dzikunu Agbale wanted to see the minister. The minister had earlier assisted Mr Agbale to attend a driving school at New Image Driving School in Ho in 2007.
Agbale, according to the prosecution, was prevented by General Constable Ankomah from entering the Residency.
That brought about some misunderstanding between the two of them at the gate but Agbale managed to enter the premises.
“At that particular moment, Owusu had left the duty point to see off his wife and on his return, he was told about what had just taken place.
“He proceeded to the bungalow of the Ho Municipal Police Commander, Mr Nartey, to inform him about the incident,” Mr Wiredu said, on receiving the information, Mr Nartey followed the accused to the minister’s residency to ascertain the facts for himself.
“While within the residency, the accused person who was then armed with an AK47 rifle loaded with 20 rounds of ammunition opened fire and shot dead Agbale instantly and severely wounded the commander,” he stated.
According to him, the commander was taken to the Ho Regional Hospital, while Agbale’s corpse was conveyed to the morgue of the same hospital.
The police commander, he told the court, was later airlifted to the 37 Military Hospital in Accra but died the following day.