The Office of the Attorney General has amended the two charges against convener of #FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, to treason felony.
He, however, refused to plead to the two new charges yesterday, invoking Section 238 of the Criminal and Other Offences Act (Act 29), which allows him to do so.
Oliver Barker-Vormawor was initially charged with two counts of high treason and treason felony after he had indicated on his Facebook and Twitter handles that he will undertake a coup, calling Ghana’s military “useless” in the process.
He had asked the High Court to strike out the committal proceedings on which he was committed to stand trial on ground that he was charged with treason felony and high treason, which sins against the rule of duplicity.
The court presided over by Justice Mary Yanzuh, in her ruling, dismissed the motion to strike out the committal proceedings but upheld his other application seeking to strike out the charges on the Bill of Indictment on grounds of duplicity and multiplicity, and ordered the prosecution to amend the charges levelled against him to reflect what the law says.
The charges were subsequently amended to two counts of treason felony which were read to him in court yesterday, as the court decided to retake his plea on the new charges.
The court clerk, after reading the first count asked the accused, “Oliver Barker-Vormawor are you guilty or not guilty,” and he responded by saying, “I want to exercise my rights under Section 238 of the Criminal Code not to plead to the charges.”
The clerk read the second count and repeated the question and the accused repeated same answer, and the court presided over by Justice Mary Yanzu entered a ‘not guilty’ plea for him.
Section 238 of Act 29 states that “Where an accused who is arraigned on, or charged with, an indictment, stands mute of malice, or neither will, nor by reason of infirmity can answer directly to the indictment, the Court may cause a plea of “not guilty” to be entered on behalf of the accused.”
The court adjourned the case to June 7, 2023, to empanel a jury for the trial as well as determine an application for the release of the accused person’s passport to him.
The accused is before the court charged with two counts of treason felony after he threatened to undertake a coup while describing Ghana’s military as “useless”.
His post was in reaction to an E-Levy Cake allegedly made to celebrate the birthday of Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu.
Barker-Vormawor made his appearance before the High Court on October 13, 2022, after he was committed by the Ashaiman District Court to stand trial for the post.
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