Ill-health of driver & mate forces court to hear case earlier than scheduled

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The Weija Circuit Court in the Ga South Municipality which remanded a commercial driver and his conductor for assaulting a police officer has rescinded its earlier decision to hear the case on Monday, April 1, 2019, and brought it earlier to Friday, March 29 due to the deterioration in the health of the two.

The Court will hear the case on Friday to enable counsel for the two applications for bail for them to seek medical treatment.

The health status of the driver, Francis Buabeng, and his mate, Albert Ansah, started deteriorating when they were allegedly subjected to serious beating while in police custody, according to their lawyer.

The ‘trotro’ driver and his mate were captured on video allegedly assaulting a policeman, Constable Julius Mawuli Ekpe, in Accra.

They were remanded in police custody to reappear on Monday, April 1.

When they appeared before the Weija Circuit Court, presided over by Bernard Bentil, last Monday, the driver and his mate pleaded not guilty to four counts of conspiracy to commit crime, assault of a public officer, causing damage to police accoutrement and obstruction.

They are represented in court by renowned human rights lawyer Francis Xavier Sosu and, according to him, the physical appearance and demeanour of the accused clearly confirm they have suffered abuse.

Speaking in an interview on the issue on Onua FM’s Yen Sempa on Wednesday, the Chairman of the True Drivers Union, Yaw Barima, said they have been visiting the two since they were arrested and remanded and their health status continue deteriorating due to the alleged abuse by the police in the cells.

He said due to this, they instructed their lawyers to seek early bail for them to be able them to seek medical treatment and the court granted them the permission on Monday, March 25, 2019.

Yaw Barima confirmed that the case will, therefore, be held on Friday, March 29, 2019, and not the earlier date of Monday, April 1, 2019.

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