The Ashaiman District Court has asked state prosecutors to attach seriousness to the treason felony charge filed against Oliver Barker-Vormawor, a convenor of the #FixTheCountry movement.
The court gave the warning Tuesday morning (March 15, 2022) when the case came up for hearing and the prosecution was absent in court.
“The court cannot wait for anyone and if the state is interested in pursuing the case, it ought to show all seriousness, because I will not take any unseriousness on the part of the state in connection with this case,” the court, presided over by Mrs Eleanor Kakra Barnes-Botchway said.
The absence of the prosecution saw the legal team of Barker-Vormawor praying the court to discharge him since the state was showing a lack of interest in the case.
Counsel for Barker-Vormawor, Dr Justice Srem-Sai argued that the prosecution has still not formally charged him with the offence and has also not submitted any bill of indictment.
“We have realised that the prosecution has lost interest totally in pursuing the case and we insist the facts in court do not support the charge of treason felony and we pray accordingly, we pray the court to discharge the accused”, Dr Srem-Sai said.
Barker-Vormawor on Tuesday displayed a sheet with the inscription, “Still, Justice for SALL [Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe].
A prosecutor, Chief Inspector George Doe who later came to hold brief for DSP Sylvester Asare who has been handling the case since it started, requested for an hour break to enable him receive instructions from DSP Asare.
“Although I have not received any instructions from DSP Sylvester Asare who is the Prosecutor in the case, I think it is too early for the defence to pray for the accused to be discharged”, Chief Inspector Doe who moved in after proceedings had started argued.
He also argued that the state had on previous sittings indicated that the crime was an indictable offence and by the nature of the case, “prosecution needed to furnish the Attorney-General with the case for advice”, he said.
He said the trial can only take place when the prosecution receives the advice from the A-G to formally charge the accused to go through the committal proceedings.
The judge, Mrs Barnes-Botchway wondered why the prosecution would fail to appear in court and its representatives also coming in after proceedings had commenced.
“The court cannot wait for anyone and if the state is interested in pursuing the case, it ought to show all seriousness, because I will not take any unseriousness on the part of the state in connection with this case,” the judge said.
The court, therefore, remanded Barker-Vormawor into police custody for another two weeks to re-appear on March 29, 2022.
Barker-Vormawor’s lawyers also attempted to seek the leave of the court to appeal a search warrant it had earlier issued in connection with the accused’s mobile phone, however, the court said since the prosecution was not readily available, the application would not be taken.
The lawyers were urged to table the motion on the next adjourned date.