HomecrimeTrain accident: Four accused persons granted GH₵800K bail

Train accident: Four accused persons granted GH₵800K bail

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An Accra High Court has granted GH₵200,000 bail each to four persons arrested for their alleged roles in the train accident at Abortia in the Volta Region.

The court presided over by Justice Mrs Lydia Osei Marfo, ordered the accused: Koku Koudjo, a 34-year-old gas welder, Patrick Kwaku Sosu, a 52-year-old labourer, Alaza Prosper, a 28-year-old labourer, and Fiadugbe Emmanuel, a 31-year-old labourer, to provide sureties with justifications.

They must report to the police every Friday.

The court ordered the accused and their sureties to submit copies of their Ghana Cards to the Court’s Registry.

It also warned the accused that if they failed to show up in court, their bail would be revoked, and should they arrive late, a bench warrant would be issued for their arrest.

The matter has been adjourned to June 6, 2024, for prosecution to file their disclosures.

The accused persons have been charged with abetment of unlawful damage.

They are accused of aiding Abel Dzidotor, a jailed truck driver, in causing unlawful damage to the Diesel Multiple Unit Train.

In granting them bail, the court noted that the investigations involving the accused were nearly completed.

According to the court, the damage caused could still be assessed even when the defendants were granted bail.

The prosecution, led by Assistant State Attorney Christabel Selma Anafure, informed the court that the state had requested experts to examine the damage.

As a result, she requested that the case be adjourned, and the accused remain remanded.

The defence counsel, led by Richard Laapo, brought to the court’s attention a bail application made on behalf of the accused.

Mr Laapo noted that the motion for bail had not been served on the Republic.

According to the defence lawyer, the Republic’s request for an adjournment should not prohibit the court from exercising its discretion and granting the accused bail.

“Per the submission of the Republic, they have invited experts to value the damage caused or suffered by the train.

“The assessment of the damage has no bearing on the grant of bail by the court,” he said.

The case of the prosecution was that the complainant, Dr Divine Olutey, is an Engineer with the Ghana Railway Corporation.

It said that on April 18, 2024, between 0900 and 1300 hours, the accused were on board a Hyundai Gold Truck with registration number GS 9018-20, driven by one Dzidotor Abel, who is now in jail.

The prosecution told the court that preliminary investigations revealed that Koudjo, the first accused, purchased blocks from a factory in Juapong and transported them to Abortia through the railway underpass.

Dzidotor, the convict, was in the truck with the accused. After discharging the blocks at Koudjo’s site, they chose to cross the railway with the vehicle instead of using the underpass.

The prosecutor claimed that despite knowing the railway lines were inaccessible to motor vehicles, the four accused used it as a “shortcut” to reach Juapong.

The prosecution said that when the accused realized they could not cross the railway tracks, they placed stones to create a route for the truck.

However, the truck got stuck on the railway line.

The prosecutor told the court that the accused tilted the truck’s head and left the scene without notifying trains on the tracks.

The prosecution said there was no access route across the railway tracks connecting the Juapong road.

It said regardless of whether the truck had crossed, a large gutter on the west side of the tracks would have prevented the accused from connecting to the Akuse-Juapong road.

The court was told that on the same day, the complainant and 28 engineers from Ghana and Poland took a test drive of the new Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train from Tema to Mpakadan.

The prosecution said that the test run had been announced ahead of time and that when the train got to the Abortia area, it collided with a stationary Hyundai Gold truck on the railway track.

“Both the train and truck got damaged, the train was sent to Tema for examination while the scrap of the vehicle, which was damaged beyond repairs, was taken to the Juapong Police Station for further action,” Prosecution added.

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