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Court remands four persons over suspected murder of UG lecturer, Prof Benneh

BY: Justice Agbenorsi
The late Professor Emmanuel Yaw Benneh
The late Professor Emmanuel Yaw Benneh

The four persons who were arrested in relation to the death of the University of Ghana law lecturer, Professor Emmanuel Yaw Benneh, were Wednesday put before the Kaneshie District Court.

The court subsequently remanded them into police custody to reappear on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

This is to enable the police conduct further investigations into the suspected murder.

The four, Christian Pobee, 32, cleaner; Isaac Botchwey, 41, houseboy; James Nana Womba, 26, cleaner; and Adams Mensah Mansur, 52, gardener; have been provisionally charged with murder.

They all pleaded not guilty when they appeared before the court presided over by Mrs Eleanor Kakra Barnes Botchway.

The four, who are all domestic workers of the late Professor were picked up by the police after the body was found in his home at about 8 am on Saturday, September 12, in a pool of blood.

The late Professor’s hands had been tied behind his back and marks of multiple acts of assault and resultant cuts were on his body.

In court on Wednesday, Graphic Online's Justice Agbenorsi reported that the prosecutor, Inspector Ebenezer Teye-Okuffo, asked the court to remand the four as investigations were still ongoing in the case.

Bail


However, the defence lawyer, Robert Esuman, in arguing for bail for two of the accused persons, Isaac Botchway and Adams Mensah Mansur, said the facts of the case failed to establish the elements of murder against the two.

He said the demise of the law lecturer had been and continued to be a blow to not only his family but also the legal fraternity and the entire country.

“The voice of justice is loud crying for the culprits to be dealt with in accordance with law but in an attempt to achieve this end, there is the need for thorough investigation in order not to violate the rights of innocent souls such as my clients," he argued.

He added that by law, his clients were presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He further told the court that his clients had permanent places of abode adding that they will avail themselves for police investigation.

He said one of his clients had served the late professor for 26 years and had cooked for the deceased on several occasions and the relationship between them were like family.

Bail opposed

Responding however, the prosecution opposed the bail saying that the police had retained the mobile phones of the accused persons and that "we are yet to take a court order to go into their phones."

He again said the telecommunications network operators that the accused persons had subscribed to were also yet to be contacted.

He said it was premature for the accused persons to be granted bail stating that remanding the accused persons would hamper police investigations.

Remand

The court, in remanding the accused persons said there was a need for the court to avert its mind to severity and nature of the offence, adding that the court had no jurisdiction to grant bail to the accused persons.