Mr. Mathew Banahene, the landlord of the house rented by one Sarah Kwabla (making strong allegations of rape and sodomy against Blackstar captain Asamoah Gyan, is running away from testifying in court.
The ongoing trial of alleged extortion involving four persons – Osarfo Anthony, Chris Handler, Ekow Micah, and Sarah Kwabla, has retarded unduly due to dragging of feet by prosecution witnesses in the case – but Mr. Mathew Banahene came into the scene after the trial judge bared her teeth at the prosecution to do the needful or close their case for the accused to open their defence.
Mr. Mathew Banahene Testifies
Mr. Mathew Banahene, told the court he was the landlord of the said house Sarah Kwablah rented but made it clear that on that fateful day Gyan entered Sarah’s room, he did not see Gyan and so can’t confirm whether Gyan raped or sodomized Sarah.
Rather, he was in his room and heard “loud noise” (music) outside. He came out only to find some guys in front of his house – “drinking” he emphasized. When he inquired who they were, they told him they came with Asamoah Gyan, and that Gyan is “around.” “Hearing its Asamoah Gyan, I did not get angry and left them” Mr. Mathew Banahene said.
Though the complainant and investigator had told the court the four accused conspired to extort GHC 25, 000 from Gyan, Mr. Mathew Banahene said the extortion amount is actually $ 100, 000 and that Sarah promised him $ 20,000 out of that.
One of the defence counsels, lawyer Lampting Apanga, even before cross-examination, alerted the judge – “My lord, do take note of his body language. You see how jittery he looks? This is how false witnesses behave in court.” Judge only smiled as she penned something on her records.
Lawyer Apanga asked Mr. Mathew Banahene if he has ever seen or spoken with Osarfo Anthony and Chris Handler before, he said “no my Lord.” When asked to prove to the court how Osarfo Anthony and Chris Handler conspired to extort money from Asamoah Gyan, he said he can’t prove that. Lawyer Lampting Apanga ended his cross-examination with just these two (2) questions – for lawyer Maurice Ampaw to take over.
Mr. Mathew Banahene Absent In Court
Mr. Mathew Banahene was to appear in court on Thursday, 10th August, 2017, for lawyer Maurice Ampaw to cross-examine him. When the case was called, complainant, in the person of Asamoah Gyan’s manager, Samuel Annim-Addo, and Mr. Mathew Banahene were absent in court.
The judge asked the state prosecutor why the absence of the complainant and witness – only for him to say he can’t speak for the complainant because the latter has not communicated with him after the last hearing.
However, he is informed Mr. Mathew Banahene has traveled out of Accra, hence, his inability to appear in court. The prosecutor then pleaded with the court to give a long adjournment because he is also going on a 2 months course.
This development angered the judge. “This is the longest case I’m handling so far. I will give you a long adjournment but I will finish this case before going on leave this year” she said.
A neighbour to Mr. Mathew Banahene who was in court to also listen to the hearing, told one of the suspects after adjournment that Mr. Mathew Banahene had not travelled out of Accra as the prosecutor told the court – and that she saw him that very morning in the house. When she got home, she called the suspect and again, confirmed Mr. Mathew Banahene’s presence in the house.
Expected Prosecution Witnesses
Other prosecution witnesses expected to appear in court are: Nii Amarh Armateifio, one Randy, Asamoah Gyan’s lawyer, Kissi Agyabeng, and of course Asamoah Gyan.
Background Of Case
Mr. Samuel Annim Addo, Asamoah Gyan’s manager and complainant, told the court that Osarfo Anthony (Entertainment Journalist) was doing publications on the Gyan and Sarah Kwablah rape and sodomy allegations on online portal, GHBase.com.
A witness in the case, Nii Amarh Armateifio, then working with Radio XYZ, approached Osarfo and Editor of the site, Chris Handler, and pleaded with them to stop the publication and that Asamoah Gyan is prepared to pay any publishing cost involved.
After agreeing on the publishing cost, Osarfo insisted the whole proposal be put on paper and signed; something both parties agreed on. On the day (29th July, 2015) Asamoah Gyan’s manager met Osarfo and gave part of the agreed sum, the police arrested Osarfo.
Unknown to Osarfo, Samuel Annim had reported him to the police – that, he (Osarfo) is attempting to extort money from Asamoah Gyan; so Sammy came along with the police to arrest Osarfo. According to Samuel Annim, Gyan’s lawyer, Kissi Agyabeng, directed him on the whole scheme of entrapment. To achieve what and for whose interest, Lawyer Kissi has failed to appear in court to explain till date.
18th September, 2017, marks two years of this case. Trial continues in 2 months’ time – Thursday, 12th October, 2017 at 11 am.