28 June 2017

E/R : Accused person creates confusion in Court over ‘strange’ Language

There was confusion and drama at the Koforidua Circuit Court ‘B’  on Tuesday when the 29th accused person in a case involving 29 foreign nationals standing trial for illegally mining in the Atiwa Forest suddenly opted to speak Djula language instead of French as agreed earlier.

Prosecution managed to get an interpreter for the Djula language however, the interpreter could not speak neither Twi nor English apart from French hence a French interpreter was also brought to court.

The French interpreter communicated statements in French for it to be interpreted to Djula to the accused and relay the information back to the French interpreter who then translated it to English.

The situation created confusion in court however cross examination ended paving way for the defence counsel to close his defence on the case. The Court is therefore expected to fix a date for judgement.

The 29 accused foreign nationals have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to Commit crime with mining, mining without license and mining in a forest reserve .

During cross examination, majority of the accused persons said they were in the forest reserve for hunting expedition. Few others however said, they were in the forest to harvest herbal medicines to cure their ailments.

Some of the accused persons told the Court they were arrested while walking along the boundaries of the Forest without engaging in any activity.

But the Prosecutor, Cyril Boateng Keteku, Deputy Eastern Regional State Attorney adduced from the evidence and exhibits tendered in during the initial stage of the trial by the Principal witnesses which are officials of the Forestry Commission and the Police Investigator, to discredit hunting and herbal medicine claims of the accused persons.

The Prosecutor told the Court that, the accused persons claims contradict their cautions statements taken by the Police as well as  exhibits of equipments retrieved during their arrest in the forest, hence the accused persons narrations in court are afterthoughts therefore not credible.



The 29 accused persons were arrested on January 26, 2017, by a team of Forestry Taskforce comprising of Police, Military and Personnel of the Forestry Services Division on their routine patrols in the forest.

They chanced upon the accused persons at about 5:00a.m. using sophisticated mining equipment to excavate the soil to prospect for gold and other minerals in the forest reserve without license hence were arrested even though some managed to escape..

The accused persons arrested during the swoop are ;Mohammed Omar, Mohammed Haruna, Amadu Basar, Dauda Zinjima, Amar Mohamed, Kassin Bramah, Mahamudu Arubakari and Sitah Zibo.The others are Hamidu Amadu, Musah Iddrisu, Munkaila Bomboro , Omaru Sulemana, Addul M. Hudu, Zibo Alibu,Haruna Mumuni, Abdulai K. Kibo, Bukari Musah, Musah Ahmed and Sulley Aadum.

The rest are Munkaila Salifu, Yakuba Adamu, Yao Denay, Fuseini Amadu, Gubar Jatah, Barim Sribil, Hamza Gudiah Nameh Keita and Jibril Amidu.

25 out of the accused persons are Nigeriens while the others are from Burkinafaso, Guinea Conakry, Mali and Togo.

Source: Kojo Ansah


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