Barker-Vormawor case:  Counsel wants client discharged

Justice Srem Sai, lead counsel for Mr Oliver Barker-Vormawor,   charged with treason felony, prayed the Ashiaman District Magistrates Court, to discharge his client since the state prosecution had shown lack of interest in the case and there was absence summary of evidence.

This was when the prosecutor handling the case Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, failed to show up when the case was called for hearing at about 9:00 am yesterday.

However, Police Chief Inspector George Doe, a prosecutor, who was in court for another case at the time, pleaded with Presiding Magistrate,  Eleanor Barnes Botwe, to ‘step-down the case’ for an hour so that the police could get instructions from the headquarters.
Ms Botwe, however, declined to discharge accused, Barker-Vormawor,  on the basis of defence’s application, citing the fact that it was the first time the prosecution had failed to attend court.

The court warned that it would not tolerate such behaviour again, and urged prosecution to attend court early as proceedings starts at 8:30 am.

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The case was adjourned to March 29, 2022, and accused was whisked into a waiting police van under armed police guards and taken back into police custody. Mr Barker-Vormawor, 36, despite being in handcuffs, managed to display a paper on which was written “Still Justice for SALL” while leaving the court.

He was arrested on February 11, 2022, for allegedly posting on social media platform that he would stage a coup if the E-Levy Bill (Electronic Levy) is passed by Parliament.

Police said his “post contained a clear statement of intent with a possible will to execute a coup in his declaration of intent to subvert the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

He first appeared at the court on February 14. Meanwhile, the Tema High Court will today rule on the application for bail moved by Mr Barker-Vormawor’s lawyers.

On Monday, accused told the Tema High Court that he was in good health and ready to stand trial, when the presiding judge, Daniel Mensah, asked of his wellbeing.

The accused was taken ill last week and received treatment at the Police Hospital, in Accra. His counsels, led by Mr Akoto Ampaw, were in court to move a bail application for accused, who is the lead convener of #TheFixTheCountry Movement.

Mr Ampaw said although he conceded that the pronouncement of his client could be deemed “reckless and condemnable,” the prosecution was unable to show the applicant was prepared to carry through his threats, albeit conditional.

He said the prosecution jumped the gun and that the police ought to monitor him to see whether he could stage a coup.

Mr Ampaw told the court that accused had a fixed place of abode and would avail himself to stand trial if granted bail.


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