The court, presided over by Ms Afia Agbanu Kumador, has set 16th March, 2017, to either discharge four suspects: Osarfo Anthony, Ekow Micah, Sarah Kwablah, and Chris Handler, accused of conspiring to extort money from Ghana’s Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan, or continue with the case – provided the prosecution is ready to prove their case in court.
Dragging Of Feet By Prosecution
Since the case went to court (18th September, 2015), the prosecution has dragged feet on a number of times. It’s either the prosecutor comes to court but the complainant and witnesses in the case don’t show up or both parties don’t show up at all.
From November, 2016 till today, 13th February, 2017, the prosecution has on three occasions, failed to show up in court – though the accused, together with their defense lawyers, come to court ready for trial.
Attorney General Still Keeping Docket Of Case
On 3rd Nov, 2016, of the hearing, Asamoah Gyan’s lawyer, Kissi Agyabeng, was the next witness to testify but was nowhere to be found when the case was called. The prosecutor told the court: “My Lord, the docket of this case has been referred to the Attorney General’s office.”
The judge, who could not help laughing in open court, said, “I’m surprised. I will give you a long adjournment. Let’s come back but make sure you come with a letter to explain why the referral of the case to the AG.”
Judge’s Caution Rule
On Monday, 13th February, 2017, the case was called but again, the prosecution together with the complainant and witness were not in court – however, the accused and their lawyers, were in court. One of the defense counsels for the 4 accused, lawyer Lampti Apanga, prayed the court discharge his clients – since the prosecution seems not interested in the case.
“My lord, I will plead with the court to discharge my clients. The prosecution seems not prepared and ready for the trial.” The judge upheld his plea by telling the officer who held brief for the prosecutor: “I’m giving a long adjournment to enable you come back and tell the court why the AG has called the docket.”
The judge made it clear that should the prosecution fail to bring a letter from the Attorney General – explaining why the AG has called back the docket, the court would discharge the four accused.
Background Of Case
First witness in the case, Samuel Annim Addo, Asamoah Gyan’s manager, told the court that Osarfo Anthony 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, a worker at 3 FM at TV3, approached Osarfo and asked him to stop the publication and that whatever money the latter’s media house will lose, Asamoah Gyan is prepared to pay the publishing cost to kill the story.
Osarfo insisted the whole proposal be put on paper and signed; something both parties agreed. On the day Asamoah Gyan’s manager met Osarfo and gave part of the agreed sum, the police arrested Osarfo and later Sarah Kwablah, Ekow Micah, and Chris Handler, and charged them with conspiracy to extort money from Gyan.
According to Asamoah Gyan’s manager, it’s Gyan’s lawyer, Kissi Agyabeng, who directed him on the whole scheme to get Osarfo arrested. To achieve what, Lawyer Kissi could not be in court to explain testify – however, the case has been referred to the AG.
The case continues on 16th March, 2017.