Marwako branch manager pleads not guilty to assault charge

Manager of the Abelemkpe branch of Marwako Restaurant, Jihad Chaaban, facing trial for assaulting a female employee, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault.

He was charged with assault, offensive conduct, and causing harm to the worker, but he maintained he is innocent.

Lead counsel for the supervisor, Asafo Adjei, told an Accra Human Rights court Wednesday that his client did not commit the crime he is being accused of.

He accused the media of magnifying and distorting the actual incident that happened on February 26.

Victim, Evelyn Boakye

“We have been hearing a lot of things on radio that she was detained for six hours [but] the question is, was it when the pepper was in the blender?” he asked, saying the information in the public is not the truth.

Mr Chaaban was arrested by the Tesano police last week after he was accused of manhandling his subordinate, Evelyn Boakye for working slowly.

He is reported to have dipped the face of the employee into hot pepper sauce for close to 10 minutes inside the restaurant’s kitchen.

A colleague told the media that they looked on helpless as the branch manager squeezed the victim’s neck while hurling invectives at her.

Tesano Police Chief Inspector, Hanson Armah, who led prosecution, pleaded with the court to deny the bail request Mr Chaaban since his release will interfere with investigations.

The Abelemkpe branch that the incident took place

He said they have spoken to the relevant witnesses on the issue and would come out with their report in the coming days.

But Mr Asafo Adjei argued the continuing detention of his client is unfair since the charges brought against him are bailable.

 “The gentleman is a Ghanaian and he has not pleaded guilty. He is innocent,” the lawyer said, adding Mr Chaaban has faced some punitive measures for what he said was a little altercation.

He maintained Ms Boakye’s face was not dipped into the pepper sauce as claimed, but rather it was a splash of the pepper that smeared her face.

Having listened to arguments from both sides, trial judge, Victoria Ghansah, declined the request for bail, charging the police to speed up their investigations.