An Accra-based Legal Practitioner, David Annan, yesterday told an Accra Circuit Court that Ghana’s most notorious armed robber, Ayi Ayeetey (alias Atta Ayi) who is serving a 76-year jail term at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison for multiple robberies, has had difficulties getting lawyers to handle his numerous cases still pending in court.

He indicated that as a result, he and Joseph Acheampong, another lawyer, had been approached by the Judicial Service to handle all the cases pro bono. Mr. Annan stated this after praying the court for the case in which Atta Ayi, 36 and four others have been arraigned for robbery, to be stood down because his client had two other cases before Justices Baffoe-Bonnie and E.K. Ayebi at the Fast Track High Court. Aside that, Mr. Annan stated that he did not know hearing had begun in the case, adding that he was only told about it by a prison guard last Friday.

However, the trial Judge, Justice Nicholas M. Abodakpi, who is a High Court Judge sitting as an additional Circuit Court Judge, stated that once the case has been filed at the registry it can be heard, emphasizing that the Chief Justice has directed same. Mr. Annan then said he had no problem if the case was continued but pleaded with the court to let three prosecution witnesses, who had already testified, to come and give evidence again. According to him, he would be greatly handicapped to prove the innocence of his client if he does not get the evidences of the witnesses since they testified in his absence.

Having heard all these arguments, the trial Judge adjourned the case sine dine for the court registry to set a new date so that all the parties in the case would be appropriately served. Atta Ayi has been arraigned before the court together with Raymond Ame, 31; Sarfo Sampong, 38; Michael Tagoe, 33 and Nana Osei Razak, 36; for allegedly robbing a businessman of an amount of GH¢14,400. They have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to rob and robbery. The fifth accused, Nana Osei Razak, has however pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and has been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment with hard labour whilst the rest pleaded not guilty to both charges.

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