Policeman in Midland assault pleads for out-of-court settlement

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
L/Cpl Frederick Amanor Godzi
L/Cpl Frederick Amanor Godzi

Lance Corporal Frederick Amanor Godzi, aka Skalla, the policeman who allegedly beat up a woman at the Shiashie branch of Midlands Savings and Loans Limited, has pleaded with the Accra Circuit Court for an out-of-court settlement of the matter.

Counsel for the interdicted policeman yesterday begged the court to allow an out-of-court settlement on the basis that the charge of assault levelled against their client was not a felony but a misdemeanour.

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“Please give us the opportunity to settle this matter outside the court system,’’ Mr Kweku Adjei Lartey pleaded with the court.

He made the plea during his submission for the court to admit his client to bail.

Godzi is alleged to have beaten Ms Patience Osafo, a customer of Midland, on the premises of the bank on July 19, 2018 when she went there to withdraw her money.


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He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault.

Bail

In his argument for bail, counsel stated that per Article 19 Clause 2 (c) of the 1992 Constitution, his client was innocent until proven guilty.

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“He has adequate people to stand surety and will not abscond but is ever ready to appear before the court to defend himself,’’ he argued.

Although his client had pleaded not guilty to the offence, Mr Lartey said Godzi had expressed remorse over the incident.

The court, presided over by Mrs Harriet Jane Akweley Quaye, did not comment on the out-of-court settlement raised by counsel but admitted Godzi to bail in the sum of GH¢60,000 with two sureties.

The sureties, the court ordered, must be gainfully employed and earn not less than GH¢500 a month.

Midland officials

Meanwhile, three officials of Midland were also dragged to court for allegedly aiding Godzi to assault Ms Osafo.

They are Jocelyn Kukua-Fakah, the Operations Manager; Shirley Portia Anaman, Customer Service Officer, and Prince Ayensu, a driver.

They pleaded not guilty to abetment of crime and were also admitted to bail on the same conditions as Godzi’s.

The hearing of the case continues on August 30, 2018.

Public outrage 

Godzi was captured in a video that subsequently went viral assaulting 36-year-old Ms Osafo, who was carrying a baby, at the Shiashie branch of Midland Savings and Loans.

Members of the public expressed outrage over the incident and subsequently the policeman was arrested and interdicted, while investigations into the case began.

No money

Per the facts of the case as presented by the prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Amegah, Ms Osafo was a customer of Midlands.

On July 13, 2018, she went to the Shiashie branch of Midlands to make a withdrawal, but she was told by officials of the company that there was a network problem and so she should go and come for the money later.

The woman, the prosecutor said, went back to Midlands on July 16, 2018, but after hours in a queue, she was told to leave because of the same network problem.

On July19, 2018, Ms Osafo once again went to the bank but was given the same excuse and told to come back later, but that time she opted to stay.

“At 2 p.m., the bank officials attended to a few customers and asked the rest to go home. Patience then approached the bank officials and explained her frustration. She requested that they give her just GH¢100 to pay her debtors so that she could get something to feed her family,’’ the prosecutor said.

Alleged assault

According to DSP Amegah, Ms Osafo approached Jocelyn and Shirley to help her, but instead of helping her, the two called Corporal Godzi to drive her out of the banking hall.

“The policeman, in his attempt to move Ms Osafo out of the banking hall, assaulted her and subsequently dragged her out of the banking hall,’’ he said.

He said the two bank officials did not make any attempt to stop Godzi from beating Ms Osafo.

Shirley rather shot a video of the incident, while Ayensu assisted Godzi in driving Ms Osafo out of the banking hall.