A Sekondi High Court has insisted on legal representation for the suspected killers of the kidnapped Takoradi girls after the accused persons’ committal on murder charges.
Justice Adjei-Frimpong, who was presiding over the case for the first time, was told by the two accused persons, Sam Udoetuk Wills and John Orji, that they’ve had no legal representation from the beginning of the case.
He reminded that the current criminal law demands they get legal representation after their committal.
The judge thus said he would write to the Legal Aid Scheme to provide the accused persons with legal representation.
“That should have been the case previously but now they have been charged fully and committed to the crime of murder, they should be given legal representation. I would write to order Legal Aid to assess them and arrange representation for them.”
The prosecuting State Attorney, Patience Klinogo, also admitted to the court that the accused persons are yet to get legal representation and asked the court for advice.
The presiding judge also asked two lawyers who were present at the proceedings to represent the accused persons for proceedings to kick-off but the request was turned down.
The two lawyers said they have a personal interest in the matter which could amount to a conflict of interest.
His Lordship Adjei-Frimpong told the State Attorney that since the case against the accused Takoradi kidnapped girls’ suspected murderers was a matter of public interest, there is the need for the matter to be discussed with the Attorney General for special concessions to expedite proceedings.
Before the Presiding Judge could adjourn the case, the second accused, John Orji, told the court his handlers are not taking care of his health despite being Asthmatic.
“I’m Asthmatic but my health is not being taken care of. The medicine I’m being given requires adequate food but I’m not getting that.“
Justice Adjei-Frimpong referred the matter to the prison to take care of him.
His Lordship also raised issues with the absence of an alibi in the account of the second accused and asked Orji to provide investigators with information on his whereabouts when the killings took place.
The lawyer representing families of the kidnapped Takoradi girls, Nana Abeka, and father of one of the girls, Alexander Kuranchie, who spoke to Citi News after proceedings agreed with the court’s decision for the accused to be given representation for the case to proceed.
The case was adjourned to July 29, 2020.