Journalists covering the case involving the eleven persons arrested in connection with the raid and ransacking of the offices of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) last year, were yesterday subjected to a humiliating treatment when the judge, Ruby Adjeley Quayson, asked them to leave the court.
The judge had warned the reporters to leave the court if they had no accreditation from the registrar of the court.
Ms. Quayson was emphatic that if the reporters wanted to record proceedings, they could only do so with explicit clearance by the registrar.
Sadly, not even the Identity Card given to this reporter by the Judicial Service as a “Court Correspondent” was enough to calm the ruffled feathers of the judge.
An attempt by the court clerk to inform the judge that this reporter was accredited was rejected.
It still remains unclear why Mrs. Quayson had wanted to clear the court of journalists in that particular case.
The police had arrested the 11 persons including one Bismark Osei Danso, a 58-year-old contractor/ex-soldier and purported ring leader of the supposed soldiers who invaded the NPP Asylum Down headquarters.
He reportedly mobilized eight retired soldiers resident at Kakasunanka near Michelle Camp close to Tema, dressed them in military uniforms and took them to the NPP headquarters.
The other accused persons are Kwame Adu Annan, Nii Teiko Ayi-Bontey, Shamzi Dinni, Obed Yawson Danso, Ali Iddris, Razak Ebenezer Aduful, Abdul Wudu, Rakia Ali Mohammed and Ben Okyere.
They have denied the charges of unlawful entry, unlawful purpose on private premises and causing unlawful damage to the tune of GH¢28,000.
The accused persons are on GH¢10,000 bail each with two sureties.
As part of the bail conditions, they are also to execute a bail bond to be of good behaviour or in default serve three months in jail.
Robert Essuman, a caretaker at the NPP headquarters and first prosecution witness, opened the trial narrating to the court how two men in military uniform entered the party offices on November 23, last year, locked them (caretaker and other party security men) up in a room and later showed them some guns in a sack allegedly found at the place.
Led in evidence by DSP Abraham Annor, he said the military men asked them to pack the ammunition back into the sack, adding that a few minutes later, he saw a bus-load of people in red T-shirts at the party offices.
Abdul Aziz Mohammed, lawyer for the accused persons, in a cross-examination, doubted the assertion by Mr. Essuman that he lived at the party office.
Emmanuel Dankwah appeared for the complainant.
Earlier, the judge had issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Abdul Wudu and Michael Agoha after the prosecutor had requested same from the court.
In the case of Abdul, Mr. Aziz said he had lost his mother, while the other accused person was said to be mentally unstable. Sitting continues today.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson