Alhaji Dawood and Nana Akua Amponsah
The Trial of the six persons arrested in connection with the Nayele Ametefe 12.5 kilos cocaine scandal appears to be falling apart.
When the case resumed yesterday at an Accra Circuit Court, the body language of both the prosecution and the defence showed clearly that the case might collapse in the long run.
Prosecution’s Feet Dragging
Chief State Attorney Penelope Mamattah told the court presided over by Francis Obiri that investigations into the matter were still not complete and that more time was needed.
In the previous sittings before the accused persons were finally granted bail, the prosecution had asked for more time from the court to conduct further investigations into the matter.
However, before asking the court for more time to investigate, she said some of the defence counsel had been creating the impression in the media that the case had gone into full trial.
‘The impression is being given that we are already on trial and it is because of what some of the defence counsel have been saying,’ she said.
She insisted that the case was still under investigation, adding that ‘we have not yet taken a decision to go to full trial.’
The Chief State Attorney said that under normal circumstances it was the police that was required to lead the prosecution of the case at the preliminary stage but because of the high profile nature of the case, the Attorney General’s Department had to come in.
She also said the Circuit Court was not the appropriate forum for full trial to commence, saying, ‘in the event that the case is going to full trial, it will go to the High Court and that will be determined after all the investigations are completed.’
The first case involved Abiel Ashitey Armah, Foreign Service Officer in charge of the VVIP Lounge at KIA, Ahmed Abubakar, Protocol Officer and Theophilius Kissi, a Civil Servant. They have all been charged for allegedly abetting Nayele Ametefe. Frank Davies, counsel for Armah, was not happy with the prosecution’s persistent plea for more time to investigate, insisting that ‘they should give us timelines on when the investigations will be completed.’
‘There is some sort of indecent pressure on the accused. The person at the centre of the storm has been convicted,’ he added. Mohammed Attah, representing Abubakar, told the court that the lack of progress in the case was affecting his client as a public official.
Vincent Aikins, counsel for Kissi, asked the court to order the prosecution to ‘speed up’ investigations, saying, ‘it is a burden when you are on trial.’
He said in the substantive case itself (Nayele’s London trial) judgement had been given and that he did not understand what the prosecution was still investigating.
The judge then told the defence counsel that he could not order the prosecution to give the court a specific date on which investigations will be completed, saying, ‘I cannot order them when they say they are still investigating the matter.’
There was also a heated debate between the prosecution and the defence on the next adjourned date but the court stepped in and fixed January 21 for the next sitting.
The court subsequently adjourned the case involving Sadalia Nuhu and Nana Akua Amponsah, both businesswomen, who the prosecution says had travelled with Nayele Ametefe but managed to escape from London back to Accra the same day. They are facing a charge of conspiracy in the second case.
The third case involving Alhaji Dawood Mohammed, who reportedly played crucial roles for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaign in the 2012 general elections, was also adjourned on the same grounds that the prosecution advanced above.
Alhaji Dawood, the originator of ‘Zongo Youth for Mahama’ which canvassed votes for the President during the 2012 elections in Zongo areas, allegedly made a telephone call to the boss of the VVIP section of KIA, Abiel Ashitey Armah, to facilitate the processing and safe passage of Ruby and her girls, Sadalia and Nana Akua, through the VVIP section.
By William Yaw Owusu
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