‘Strongman’ Agordzo Fate Hangs
The Kaneshie Magistrate Court in Accra is expected to deliver its ruling on an application filed by lawyers of ACP/Dr. Benjamin Agordzo to decline jurisdiction in trying the senior police officer.
The highly anticipated decision of the court this morning is set to put to rest the debate of whether or not the court has the capacity to hear the charge of treason felony leveled against ACP Agordzo.
The presiding magistrate, Eleanor Kakra Barnes Botchway on Wednesday deferred ruling on the verbal arguments by the two parties to today indicating that she would not rush into making a decision.
She subsequently ordered that the accused be remanded while she gives her ruling this morning.
The top police officer is the latest person to be arrested in connection with the coup attempt targeted at the Jubilee House.
He has been slapped with one count of abetment to commit crime, namely treason felony.
He is alleged to have incited members of a non-governmental organisation, ‘Take Action Ghana’ (TAG), to demonstrate against the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government and subsequently overthrow it.
Apart from his alleged involvement in the planning of the said demonstration, ACP Agordzo is said to have assisted the group with various sums of money to facilitate the organisation of the intended demonstration and overthrow.
ACP Agordzo, according to the BNI, also drafted a speech to be delivered on the day of the demonstration and the subsequent overthrow of government.
On Wednesday, his lawyer, Hamdiya Mohammed, raised a preliminary legal objection challenging the propriety of the charges being put before the Magistrate Court.
According to her, ACP Agordzo has been charged with a first degree felony and the lower court does not have jurisdiction to hear such matters as it can neither remand nor grant bail to an accused persons in such matters.
Quoting Article 14 Clause 3 of the 1992 Constitution as well as sections of the criminal and other offenses Act (Act 30) to prove the inability of the Magistrate Court to entertain such matters.
Hamdiya accused the prosecution of intentionally sending ACP Agordzo to the District Court knowing that it does not have jurisdiction – just to delay bail for her client.
“Just because this has been done in the past does not mean that it is the right procedure to follow,” Ms. Mohammed added.
She, therefore, implored the court to decline jurisdiction but in case it is not inclined to do so, then the matter should be set down for their request to be referred to the Supreme Court for constitutional interpretation.
Opposing the arguments of the lawyer, ASP Sylvester Asare said the constitutional provision as well as sections of the criminal and other procedure Act that the defence lawyer relied on did not suggest anywhere that the court does not have jurisdiction over the matter.
According to him, the District Court is the first court of instance in all indictable cases as it is the court where the committal proceedings are held before the accused person is committed for trial at the High Court.
He, therefore, pleaded with the court to remand the accused person to assist in investigation which is almost concluded.