Ofosu-Ampofo trial gets off to an odd start as witness says he signed a statement without reading it Featured

Benjamin Osei Ampofo Adjei Benjamin Osei Ampofo Adjei

The trial of the national chairman of the National Democratic Congress, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, and the NDC’s deputy communications officer, Anthony Kwaku Boahen, began yesterday amid multiple controversies.

When the state, led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, called its first witness, who identified himself to the court as Benjamin Osei Ampofo Adjei, the witness said he had signed a statement brought to him by a police officer without reading it.

The witness, who told the court that he works with Adom FM as an Akan newscaster, reporter and sit-in host for the morning show in the absence of the usual presenter, sought to distance himself from a statement which bears his signature.

The defence objects

Lawyers for the defence, led by Tony Lithur, raised objections to adoption of the statement, arguing that, under practice and directives from the Chief Justice, the witness’s statement does not meet the laid-down rules.

The prosecution, in a swift response, drew attention to the fact that the witness’s statement was prepared from the police investigation statement, written by the witness and signed by himself.

The presiding judge, Justice Samuel Adjei, eventually ruled for the adoption of the witness statement. He explained that because the statement was signed by the witness, who went ahead to identify it, it is admissible.

The tendering of an audio recording of an interview the witness had with Kwaku Boahen was the next point of contention. The prosecution requested that if this is tendered in evidence, she would like it to be played to the court.

The court hinted that it did not have ready access to such a facility to ensure the recording could be played at that sitting, but would make arrangements for it to be played at the next sitting.

Sitting was adjourned to February 5, and the hearing continues.

Leaked recording

The two NDC officials have been charged in connection with the infamous leaked recording.

It is said to have captured how the NDC was allegedly planning to commit various crimes and turn round to blame these on the governing NPP.

Among the alleged strategies were creation of a general state of insecurity, through kidnappings and arson, and verbal attacks on public officials such as the chairman of the National Peace Council, Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, and the chair of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa.

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