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Ya Na Trial: Justice Ayebi Takes Over From Justice Oppong

2010-08-30 23:11:54
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Ya Naa Yakubu
The trial of the ten accused persons who allegedly murdered the former overlord of Dagbon has been given a new lease of life with the appointment of Justice E.K Ayebi by the Chief Justice as the new trial judge. Justice Ayebi’s new assignment follows the stepping aside of Justice Anthony Oppong from sitting on the Ya Na murder trial after the Attorney-General objected to his sitting on it, arguing that he would be bias in handling the case. Before the Attorney-General could prove that Justice Oppong will be bias, the judge himself decided to step aside. The new trial judge, Justice E.K Ayebi, a justice of the court of Appeal will be sitting on the case at the Fast Track High Court Four in Accra.

The attention of all Ghanaians will now be turned towards him. He is well remembered for some high profile cases he presided over the past couple of years. He was the judge that sat on the Republic Vrs Thomas Osei case at an Accra Fast Track Court in 2008. Thomas Osei is the Ghanaian Businessman who drove his vehicle into that of the then President Kufuor on the 37 Military Hospital—Airport Road. Justice E.K Ayebi was also the Accra Fast Track High Court Judge who sentenced Joel Meja Duarie, Italio Gervasio and Vasquez Gerardo to a total of 70 years imprisonment with hard labour in the 588 kilogrammes East Legon cocaine trial. He also sat as a Court of Appeals judge together with Justices Henrietta Abban and G.M. Quaye in the case that saw the court unanimously upholding the decision of an Accra Human Rights High Court that a contempt application against Yaw Donkor, the Director of the BNI and two others should be heard in open court. A judicial watcher told the Daily Post that both parties in the case, that is the Attorney-General and the accused persons should be okay with Justice E.K Ayebi because he is one of the few independent judges left in the judiciary. “He should be okay once he is independent and will work hard to review the evidence that would be brought before him. This is one of the best out of a bad situation” the judicial watcher said, apparently referring to a judiciary that is largely pro-NPP.

Meanwhile, this paper’s intelligence in the A-G’s department say the AG and her lieutenants have a ton of evidence and witness statements to present to Justice E.K Ayebi, a no mean task for him to deliver unbiased and quality judgment to Ghana.


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