An Accra High Court has dismissed an application filed by lawyers for National Democratic Congress (NDC) National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, seeking to put his trial on hold.

Trial Judge, Justice Samuel Asiedu, on Wednesday, ruled that the application does not raise any serious issues of fact or law requiring that the court halts proceedings.

Lawyers for the politician had argued that the trial cannot proceed since they intend to have the Court of Appeal set aside the court’s decision to accept a statement from a witness who “disavowed the statement”. 

The first Prosecution Witness, Benjamin Osei Ampofo Adjei, a broadcast journalist with Accra-based Adom FM had denied his witness statement presented by the prosecution.

The witness told the court that he was at the office when a police officer brought the statement for him to sign but failed to read it because, according to him, it was minutes to the 6 PM bulletin. 

Following this testimony, the lead counsel for Mr Ampofo, Tony Lithur, urged the court to reject the statement as it was not authored by the witness.

But Justice Samuel Asiedu dismissed the objection and admitted the statement saying once it was signed by the witness, it was valid.  

Before Mr Lithur’s application was dismissed, Chief State Attorney, Asiamah Sampong, had opposed the application on grounds that nothing bars the court legally from proceeding.

He also stated that the statement had been in evidence since the state filed all documents it intends to use before the start of the trial.

He insisted that Mr Ampofo waived his right to appeal when he failed to object to the statement during the Case Management Conference.

Justice Samuel Asiedu dismissed the application to stay proceedings explaining it will “unnecessarily delay the trial”.

Facts of the case

According to the prosecution’s facts, following the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election debacle on January 31, 2019, Ofosu Ampofo met with some NDC communicators on February 3, 2019.

The facts explained that at the said meeting, Ofosu Ampofo and Anthony Boahen, Deputy Communications Officer of the party, set out a road map of criminal activities, including violence against the EC Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, and the Chairman of the National Peace Council, the Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante.

It said an audio recording of the said meeting was leaked, leading to investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service into the comments on the tape.

The prosecution added that on February 20, 2019, Boahen granted a radio interview in which he confirmed his participation in the meeting and also revealed that the leaked audio recording was a true reflection of what had transpired at the February 3, 2019 meeting.