The Tema High Court has fixed June 19, 2023, to hear a bail application of two of the accused in the alleged murder case of Mrs Josephine Asante, an official of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).
At the time of the murder on January 13, 2019, Mrs Asante was GPHA Marketing and Public Affairs Manager at the Tema Port.
Richard Kwabena Kwakye, alias Kwabena Boateng and Frederick Owusu Oppong, alias Kojo Owusu, who are cousins, were recently arrested and charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit crime contrary to sections 23 (1) and 40 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29), and murder contrary to section 46 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29).
They are among four accused persons who are currently on trial for the alleged murder; the others are Christian Adjei, the houseboy of the deceased, and Dominic Adjei.
A copy of an affidavit in support of the bail application available to the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office indicates that the prosecution had withdrawn the initial charges and preferred new charges against the accused persons since their first appearance on April 12, 2023.
The affidavit sworn by Madam Mercy Oppong, the mother of Oppong and aunt of Kwakye on their behalf, stated that Kwakye, upon his arrest, denied the charge of murder against him and informed the investigators about an alibi, who was his former boss at the GPHA at the time of the incident.
“At the time material to this case, when the death of the deceased is said to have occurred, the 1st accused was driving his boss, Edward Osei, to visit another colleague of the GPHA at the Emefs Estate,” it stated, adding that “the 1st accused at the time of the incident did not even know the residence of the deceased, and he only heard of the unfortunate incident on the following day.”
The applicants added that the State, had not yet established any reasonable nexus between Kwakye and the crime.
The affidavit also indicated that Oppong was the driver of the wife of Mr Edward Osei in the said alibi, adding that he was not an employee of the GPHA, neither did he have any relationship with the deceased, nor was he anywhere near the Emefs Estate at the time of the murder.
According to them, while Kwakye was arrested and charged with the offence because he was the driver of Mr Osei, who at the time of the incident was in the vicinity of Emefs Estate, Oppong, on the other hand, had also been arrested because he was a close family relative of Kwakye.
The applicants stated that to maintain the scales of justice, they prayed to the court to admit them to bail as they did not commit the offence and that there was nothing that linked them to the committing of the offence.
The affidavit added that the 1992 Constitution made it imperative for an accused person to be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence; therefore, applicants’ continuous detention would be detrimental and amounted to a breach of their constitutional rights as they would be hindered from having access to their lawyer and procuring the evidence necessary to put up a defence.
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