Ekow Stays Ganja Trial

Lester Ekow Micah, the reggae musician standing trial over narcotic-related charges, could not open his much anticipated defence yesterday.

This was because his lawyer, Andrew Kudzo Vortia, had filed a motion to stay proceedings pending an appeal in respect of the trial.

The motion followed a recent decision by an Accra Circuit Court presided over by Aboagye Tandoh to throw out a request by lawyers for Ekow seeking, among other things, to recall a prosecution witness in the case and to order for a mini-trial.

Ekow had further argued that the police coerced him into admitting ownership of the alleged narcotic substance found at his residence.

But the trial judge threw out the motion explaining that the court had not seen any compelling reason to recall the said witness.

Appeal
Unsatisfied with the decision of the court, Mr Vortia filed a notice of appeal at an Accra High Court to appeal against the decision of Mr Tandoh.

He said the part of the decision complained of was ‘the entire decision of the circuit court when it failed to uphold the accused’s legal objection to the admission of inadmissible evidence into evidence.’

Grounds
On the grounds of appeal, lawyers for the reggae musician stated that the ‘learned trial judge erred when he misdirected himself and held that the confession statement of the accused that was admitted into evidence without the presence of an independent witness was admissible.’

It said the ruling of the court was against the weight of evidence and that the trial judge erred when he failed to uphold that the statement of the accused was dictated to him by the police investigator.

As a result, Mr Vortia wants the court to set aside the ruling of the Circuit Court and expunge the statement of Ekow from the record.

No show
When the case was due for hearing yesterday, Mr Vortia said his client was unable to open his defence in view of the appeal.

He stated that he had filed to stay proceedings in the court at 11:30am yesterday at the registry.

Mr Vortia however prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him move the motion.

ACP Moses Atibilla, the prosecutor, said he had not been served with the motion and that Mr Vortia could not stay proceedings in the court.

The trial judge stated that the issue was not whether or not to stay proceedings but that it was for Mr Vortia to convince the court to grant the request.

The hearing has been adjourned until November 11, 2015.

Background
Ekow was on August 4 arrested by the Airport Police over an alleged extortion case currently in another Circuit Court.

The prosecution alleged that on the following day, at about 11:30 am, the Police and the accused person visited Micah’s house to conduct a search and in the process, a quantity of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp was found concealed in Micah’s bag.

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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson


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