Defence Lawyer, Samuel Atuah, who has been representing the two ‘Kasoa boys’ accused of allegedly killing a 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdullah has withdrawn his services for the 2nd accused person, Nicholas Kani.
A 15-year-old juvenile (name withheld) and Kani, 18, have been committed to stand murder trial at the High Court.
In court Wednesday, when the case was called for the jury to be empanelled, their lawyer Samuel Atuah raised a concern and opted out.
“My Lady, I have had conference with accused persons this afternoon. During my conference with accused persons, A1 (Juvenile accused) seems to admit the offence while A2 (Kani) denies same,” he told the court.
Counsel said, “in view of that, and for the interest of the accused persons, I wouldn’t be able to represent both of them.
“I have decided to represent A1 whilst A2 looks for another lawyer to represent him,” Lawyer Atuah explained.
He, therefore, prayed the court to give directives in respect of his concerns.
The Criminal Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo concurred with the request though she had issues with the timing.
“This concern has been raised so belatedly, although, I agree with Counsel.
“Before his intervention, all is set for the jury to be empanelled – the men and women to be selected as jurors have duly been summons by the Registrar and are present in court,” the court said.
“However, this case being a jury trial, I will have to adjourn and order legal aid to appoint a lawyer either externally or within to represent A2,” Justice Osei Marfo directed.
Just when the case was about to be adjourned, the court indicated that a lawyer has been found for A2 and thus, adjourned the case to Thursday, May 12 for the jury to be empanelled.
They had earlier set the jury criteria for a person to be summoned by the Registrar.
Per the criteria, anybody above 55 years should not be part of the pool of prospective jurors.
a). Any jurors that is currently engaging in more than two cases should not be part of the pool.
b). Anybody above the age of 55 years should not be part of the pool.
c). Anybody with health conditions that required the person to constantly ask permission to attend hospital should not part of the pool.
d). Registrar should ensure that, there are no professional jurors. (Those who have appeared in several jury trials).
The court said the essence of it is that the court must have a different and fresh set of people to be selected as jurors for the trial of Indictment cases expeditiously to have the desired outcome.
e). By the next adjourned date, the Registrar should assemble qualified men and women for the trial of the case.
f). The Registrar should ensure the court has not less than 25 prospective jurors in court.
EIB Network’s court Correspondent Murtala Inusah, the case has been adjourned to April 5, 2022, for jury empanelling
Notice of Alibi
Nicholas Kani, the second accused person held for the murder of a 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdullah has said he was nowhere near the crime scene where the murder incident happened.
Kani has raised a defence of Alibi and said he has witnesses to support his defence of Alibi.
An Alibi is a defence to a criminal charge alleging that the accused person was somewhere other than at the scene of the crime at the time it occurred.
A 15-year-old juvenile (name withheld) and Kani have been charged with the murder of Ishmael Mensah.