The Commercial High Court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, hearing the case of willfully causing financial loss to the state brought against former board chairman of the National Communication Authority (NCA), Eugene Baffoe – Bonnie and four others, under the erstwhile Mahama administration, will begin full trial of the matter from the 16th of January, 2018. The court reached this conclusion after several arguments and counter arguments by defence lawyers and prosecuting State Attorneys.
*Legal Representation for the State*
Gloria Akuffo, the Attorney General; the Director Of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Attakora Obuabisa; Asima Sarpong, Chief State Attorney; Frances Ansah, Principal State Attorney; Sefakor Nate, Senior State Attorney; Richard Gyan Gyanbibi, Senior State Attorney and Gina Asah-Danquah Senior State Attorney represented the state in court.
*Legal Representation for the Accused Persons*
Lawyer Abu Juan holding a watching brief for Thaddeus Sory appeared for the first accused; Lawyer Agbesi Dzakpasu for the second accused person; Samuel Cudjoe, for the third accused person; Kojo Yankson for the fourth accused person and Safo Buaben for the fifth accused person.
*In Court Today*
After all the host of lawyers were introduced, All seventeen charges of the second and third accused persons, William Matthew Tetteh Tevie and Nana Owusu Ensaw were read to them and their plea was taken by the instructions of Justice Eric Kyei Baffour’s court. The Attorney General read the brief facts as presented to the Court again to the hearing of the two accused persons. This was done again because the two were not present in court on the first day of hearing. All two accused persons pleaded not guilty. The Court admitted the two accused persons to bail on the same conditions that the 1st, 4th and 5th were admitted at the first hearing on 22nd of December, 2017. The conditions of bail was to the tune of 1 million dollars each, three sureties and they are to deposit their passports with the Registry of the Court.
*Case Management Arrangements*
Justice Kyei Baffour’s Court suggested that in order to ensure an expeditious trial of the matter, the court will have the case heard on daily basis through out the week. However, the defence lawyers opposed the suggestion of the judge citing health challenges of the 2nd accused person who is required to visit the hospital three times a week. The Attorney General intervened and suggested that the terms of the trial ought to be concluded and in the cause of the trial all other matters can be dealt with as and when they come up.
Lawyer for the second accused person prayed the court to ask the Attorney General to furnish them with all documents they intend to rely on for the trial. The AG promptly agreed to supply the defence lawyers with copies of all documents.
*Ruling of the Court*
The court having heard all the arguments and counter arguments ordered that the Attorney General furnish the defence Lawyers with all documents. The court further ruled that in order to give the accused persons every conceivable opportunity to answer the charges they are facing, to guarantee the fundamental Human Rights of the accused persons and to ensure an expeditious trial of the matter, the trial will commence on the 16th of January, 2018 and will continue on every other Tuesday and Thursday of the week till the case ends.