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KNUST to suspend final-year student over alleged rape

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has activated processes to suspend a final-year Business Administration student standing trial for allegedly raping a first-year female student of the university.

Joel Osei Owusu and his accomplice, L/Cpl Frank Adu Poku are currently standing trial for the alleged rape incident on July 19, 2022.

The police officer, stationed at the Bomso in Kumasi, has since been interdicted.

“You know the police administration will not shield anybody who tries to bring the name of the Police Service into disrepute. Our image is very, very important to us so anybody who finds himself in an issue of this sort, the administration will quickly take action on it, and then the police administration did that by interdicting the officer,” said ACP Kofi Blagodzi, Ashanti regional head of legal and prosecutions.

He addressed the Asokore Mampong District Court on Tuesday before the sitting magistrate denied the two accused persons bail for the second time.

The two were remanded into police custody on 28th July 2022.

It followed a strong opposition to a bail application filed by the lawyers of the two by prosecution.

The development comes as prosecution told the court a duplicate docket has been sent to the Attorney-Generals’ office for advice.

Prosecution, led by ACP Kofi Blagodzi, told the court presided by his Worship Buabin Quansah, that the prosecution awaits advice from the Attorney General’s office after a duplicate docket on the matter was forwarded.

Proceedings in court

Lawyer for first accused, Sarfo Duku, said his client should be granted bail since every offence is bailable. He added that since the student is a final year student and is set to write his final graduation exams, the court should grant him bail to enable him time to prepare for the exams.

Counsel for the second accused person, Kwaku Yeboah Akowuah said since the docket has been submitted to the Attorney Generals’ office, his client should not be kept in police custody.

According to him, that could mean police have completed their investigations, adding, since police know the accused person’s place of abode, and is prepared to cooperate with the police and attend court proceedings, he should be granted bail.

But their arguments were shot down by prosecution led by ACP Blagodzi who mounted strong opposition to the bail application.

He told the court police investigations into the case are ongoing and that the Asokore Mampong District Court lacks jurisdiction to grant bail in a first-degree felony case.

On the argument that the first accused will write his final exams, he told the court lawyer for the KNUST has hinted of processes to suspend the accused person, and that there is no need to grant him bail to write his exams.

“We opposed to the bail application because our argument was that the magistrate court, which is the court of first instance has no jurisdiction to grant bail in indictable offenses to the first-degree offence and again, as we indicated, we forwarded the docket to the Attorney General and they perusing the case docket and advise on it before committal proceedings could proceed,” ACP Blagodzi told Joynews.

The Magistrate in his ruling denied them because of the public interest attached to the case. Hearing is adjourned to August 29, 2022.

SOURCE: Ohemeng Tawiah

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