The Asokore Mampong District court has once again denied a bail application filed by lawyers for an interdicted police officer and a KNUST final year student, who are accused of gang-raping a first-year student of the University.
The police officer, Lance Corporal Frank Adu Poku and Joel Osei Owusu were arrested on 22nd July 2022 after they allegedly raped the victim on 19th July 2022.
The two persons were subsequently remanded on 28th July 2022.
Appearing before the Asokore Mampong District Court on Tuesday, 9th August 2022, the lawyers for the accused persons stressed the need for the clients to be granted bail.
Lawyer for the KNUST final year student for instance advanced the argument that the continuous incarceration of his client on the basis of a “mere allegation” is a violation of the rights and liberties of his client.
As the prosecution tells the court that the docket on the matter has been forwarded to the office of the Attorney General for advice, the lawyer for the final year student, Sarfo Duku stated that advice from the Attorney General’s office usually takes long and as such, the accused should be granted bail since every offence is bailable.
The lawyer further indicated that since the student is a final year student and is set to write exams in order for him to graduate, the court should grant him bail for him to prepare ahead of the exams.
On the part of the second accused person, the interdicted police officer, his lawyer, Kwaku Yeboah Akowuah said since the docket has been submitted to the office of the Attorney General, he assumed the police have completed their investigations and as such, there is no need to continuously keep his client in police custody.
He added that the police also know his client’s fixed place of abode and as a result, he should be granted bail as he will cooperate with the police and attend court proceedings as well.
The Ashanti regional head of legal and prosecutions, ACP Kofi Blagodzi who is the prosecutor handling the case however in his argument opposed the decision to grant the two accused persons bail.
He stressed that the police are still conducting investigations into the case and since the Asokore Mampong District Court lacks jurisdiction to grant bail in such a case which is a first-degree felony, the lawyers should seek bail for their grants at a higher court.
He further told the court that the KNUST lawyer who was present in court has disclosed to him that processes are being followed to ensure the final year student is suspended and as such, there is no need to grant him bail to go and write his exams.
The Magistrate, his Worship Buabin Quansah in his ruling said because of the public interest attached to the matter, there is a need to remand them.
Speaking to OTEC News after the court proceedings, ACP Kofi Blagodzi said the Attorney General’s office is very much aware of the public interest associated with the matter and has thus assured that it is working speedily to deliver its advice on the matter to ensure the committal processes begin as early as possible.
“The lawyers for the accused persons repeated the application for bail, and I drew the court’s attention that my Lord has no jurisdiction to grant bail in respect of this matter. Because this is a first-degree felony offence of rape, I made my Lord aware that they know the appropriate forum that they have to make such an application. This forum is not convenient. That’s what I made my lord aware of, and my lord has heard my submission and remanded them. In respect of this matter, the Attorney General is very much aware of the public interest, so they are also working very speedily to come and proceed with the committal proceedings. So this is what I made the court aware of. The police officer has been interdicted”.