The presiding judge at the Circuit Court ‘1’ in Accra Her Honour Mrs Afia Owusuaa Appiah has said she will deal with the case in which former house-help of Cecilia Abena Dapaah has been arraigned as a normal case and deal with it professionally.
According to her, she will, however, not be forced to “kowtow to public pressure” in handling the matter.
Patience Botwe and six others are in court for 14 provisional charges in connection with the stolen $1 million and 300, 000 euros from the residence of the former Sanitation minister.
In court on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, some of the defence lawyers expressed concerns about the manner prosecution has been asking for adjournments without headway.
It was the case of Lawyer Raymond Felie, representing one of the accused persons that there was no justification in the prosecution request for adjournments and that it was a matter of public interest and people were interested in finding out how the case was travelling.
Counsel’s remarks came after Akosua Agyaponmaa Agyemang, Senior State Attorney had told the court that they had received information from the investigators that they had submitted the duplicate case docket to the office of the Attorney General but have not seen it.
The court said it will not be compelled to deal with the matter but rather she will deal with it professionally and as any other case regardless of public sentiments.
“Hold it there! I will not Kowtow to public pressure,” the judge remarked.
“I will not treat this case differently from others. Let’s deal with this case professionally,” the sitting judge remarked.
“Let’s take public sentiments out of this case,” she added.
She said, the liberties of the accused persons are at stake and the defence should rather take allegations made by the prosecution seriously.
House help’s records
Lawyers for Patience Botwe had moved a bail application for their client.
Lawyer Nana Addo Asrifi after relying on his motion and the supplementary affidavit against the Prosecution’s opposition said his client should be admitted to bail.
It was his contention that the Family and Juvenile Court had earlier granted bail to their client and therefore should be considered for bail.
Akosua Agyemang, the Senior State Attorney per her affidavit in opposition, said the request should not be granted.
The Court, after listening to the parties said, the applicant’s claims that the Family and Juvenile Court granted her bail, has not been countered by the prosecution.
To this end, the Court ordered that the Family and Juvenile Court is to within seven days furnish the Circuit Court with records of proceedings with respect to Patience Botwe.
Malik Dauda, the fourth accused person said to be the former boyfriend of Patience Botwe was granted bail in the sum of GHc100, 000.
He is also to produce two sureties who are to be justified and must be residents within the jurisdiction of the court.
All four of the accused persons who were previously granted bail have failed to meet their bail conditions.
It was the case of Lawyer Augustine Gyemfi that the bail conditions should be varied for them
“We are praying for variation,” he said, “all the accused persons who have been granted bail have not been able to meet their bail conditions.”
He said, it was not because they had not made any attempt or effort, but the problem was the interpretation of the conditions.
The court said that if the accused persons have any issues executing the bail, they should furnish the court with details of the sureties and particulars of the sureties to make sure they will not run away.
The case has been adjourned to October 3, 2023.
Seven persons – Patience Botwe, 18, hairdresser, Sarah Agyei, 30, unemployed, Benjamin Sowah, 29, plumber, Malik Dauda,34, unemployed, Christiana Achab, a trader, Job Pomary, a mechanic, and Yahaya Sumaila, Excavator operator, have been slapped with 14 counts.
Their respective pleas have not been taken as Prosecutors say investigations are winding up.
Since the amended charge sheet was moved on August 8, 2023, Sarah Agyei, Christiana Achab, Job Pomary and Yahaya Sumaila have all been granted bail.
But, they are still in lawful custody as they are yet to meet their bail conditions.
They are on 14 provisional counts of charges comprising a count of conspiracy, five counts of conspiracy and eight counts of dishonestly receiving.