Accra Circuit Court Adjourns Again the Ablekuma Central Gun Shooting Trial
The Circuit Court 4 of the Court of Justice on Monday, 15th February 2021 has yet again adjourned the Ablekuma Central Collation Centre Gun Shooting Trial to the 15th March, 2021 after the case was called and the substantive Prosecutor was not in Court.
This comes after previous adjournments resulting from the Circuit Court Judge, Mr Emmanuel Essandoh was indisposed since December 24, 2020.
The accused person Collins Quarcoo, alias Kola, the gunman standing trial who is currently on bail in the sum of GH¢ 200,000 with three sureties for his involvement in the electoral violence that occurred in the Ablekuma Central Constituency Collation Centre on the 8th December, 2020.
The bail condition is that two of his sureties, whom shall be public servants earning not less than GH¢ 15,000 a month and must show evidence of their earnings.
Kola on the 17th December 2020 when the case was first called was remanded by the Circuit Court Judge, Mr Emmanuel Essandoh to be in police custody. The Judge has since been indisposed and this had led to the postponement of hearing on four different occasions.
Lawyers of the accused on 8th of January, 2021 are said to have applied for bail at the High Court of Justice, Criminal Court 4 and on the 11th January, the High Court granted bail and further ordered the accused while on bail to report to the Police every Mondays and Fridays in the week.
Earlier reports confirms that at least one of the victims, Pius Kwanin Asiedu, was not informed of the bail application and only got to know that the suspect has been granted bail only on the 13th of January 2021.
Lawyer J. Opoku Agyei, holding watching brief for Asiedu, has indicated that technically the prosecution is not obliged to inform the complainants about the application for bail but in this case, where the accused has perpetrated violence by discharging a firearm at 5 people, it is only fair that they should have been told. And in Asiedu’s case, it is even more serious because he lives in the same neighbourhood with the accused.
The accused, Collins Quarcoo alias Kola was arraigned on six counts including causing harm, possession of firearms without lawful authority, and using offensive weapons without legal authority.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Kola is accused of shooting five persons, including a police officer and a journalist covering the collation of results at the Odorkor Police Church collation center.
The victims include Police Inspector Nixon Awuni, Pius Kwanin Asiedu, a journalist with the Newswatchgh.com, and Rashid Umar, a trader and NDC Vice Chairman of Sabon Zongo.
In an oral presentation by the prosecitor to the Circuit Court, Kola who was reported to be a National Security personnel was said to have fired indiscriminately into the crowd at the collation center in the Ablekuma Central Constituency resulting into various degree of injuries to the victims.
Lawyer for the accused Faisal Cisse pleaded for bail for his client, arguing that his client is a public officer and not a flight risk.
Kola, per his lawyer, is employed as a National Security Officer at the Operations Department of the Office of the President, Jubilee House.
The Circuit Court judge Emmanuel Essandoh who is currently indisposed adjourned proceedings to Thursday December 24, 2020 and later postponed to the December 31, 2020, 5th and January 11, 2021
Meanwhile, the Ghana Journalists Association and the media in general, have promised to follow the case through to the end.
Speaking to Kenneth Ashigbey, a media safety advocate he questioned, How long would justice be delayed by the judge and now the prosecutor not being available, while the suspect is free on bail and the victims including a journalist are nursing their wounds and suffering unbearable pain
He called on the media and all stakeholders to keep the pressure up and shine lot of light on this and other cases involving media attacks and other venerable persons.
The new date for the Court Hearing is Monday, March 15, 2021 at the Circuit Court 4 in Accra.