An attempt by Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), to have his trial halted by the Accra High Court has failed. His application for stay of proceedings has been dismissed by the court, presided over by Justice Samuel Asiedu.
Ampofo is standing trial, together with Anthony Kwaku Boahen, a Deputy Communication Officer of the NDC, over an alleged leaked tape in which the national chairman allegedly incited violence against the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC).
The two have pleaded not guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit assault against a public officer, while Ampofo has pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault against a public officer.
Stay of proceedings
In his application for stay of proceedings, Ampofo was seeking the court to halt his trial until the final determination of an appeal at the Court of Appeal, in which he is challenging the court’s decision not to strike out the charges against him.
Moving the motion last Tuesday, counsel for Ampofo, Mr Tony Lithur, urged the court to grant the application.
According to him, the appeal at the Court of Appeal was to protect the fundamental human rights of his client against “oppressive criminal suit”.
“We should be allowed to raise all these at the Court of Appeal and, therefore, the proceedings should be stayed,” counsel argued.
In his response, the Prosecutor, Mr Asiama Sarpong, a Chief State Attorney, opposed the application and urged the court to dismiss it.
It was his submission that the applicant had not demonstrated any exceptional circumstance to warrant a stay.
He also argued that whatever argument raised in the application could only be proven when evidence was adduced during the trial.
In his ruling, Justice Asiedu dismissed the application on the basis that it had no merit.
According to Justice Asiedu, he had already ruled that the issue of whether or not the charges were proper could only be determined during trial when evidence was adduced.
Hearing continues on October 17, 2019.
Case of the A-G
According to the prosecution’s facts, following the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election debacle on January 31, 2019, Ofosu Ampofo met with some NDC party communicators on February 3, 2019.
The facts explained that at the said meeting, Ofosu Ampofo and Boahen set out a road map of criminal activities, including violence against the EC Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, and the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante.
It said an audio recording of the said meeting was leaked, leading to investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service into the comments on the tape.
The prosecution added that on February 20, 2019, Boahen granted a radio interview in which he confirmed his participation in the said meeting and also revealed that the leaked audio recording was a true reflection of what transpired at the February 3, 2019 meeting.