Case Adjourned 78 Times

Perfector of Sentiment Foundation, Accra-based human rights non-governmental organisation has expressed concern about the numerous adjournment of cases which it says is affecting justice delivery in the country. The organisation is particular about cases of human rights abuses that have pended before the courts for a very longtime. In an interview with the Time in Accra on Friday, Jonathan Osei Owusu, Executive Director of OS, made reference to a particular case that had been pending before the kim Swedru magistrate's court for the past nine years and has been adjourned 78 times. The case, “The republic vrs John Abotsl”, in which the defendant is standing trial for attempted murder, was initiated in 2000 and has since not been resolved. Mr. Owusu said the prosecutor handling the case had retired from the Police Service and the first judge on the case has been transferred. The POS foundation fears that the new prosecutor may also retire or be transferred before justice is dispensed. He, therefore, appealed to the Chief Justice, Mrs. Justice Georgina Wood, and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to intervene to ensure that justice is done in the case, stressing that "the continued delay might have dire consequences on the case, particularly on the 20-year-old victim, Godwin Manormawusi". He said the incident occurred in 1997 and was reported to the police in 2000 after the victim had spent three years at the hospital after the failed murder. According to Mr Owusu, the victim was alleged to have been struck with cement blocks at the waist by his father and an elder brother, with the assistance of two other men in an attempt to kill him for ritual purposes but he was saved by his mother who sent him to the hospital. Mr. Owusu said since the incident, Godwin, unemployed, could no more sit on his buttock or sleep on his back and had had to commute between Accra and Akim Oda to attend court hearings. The POS Foundation operates to empower the youth and ensure that the rights of children and their interests are promoted to help them develop positively for the benefit of Ghana. Mr Osei-Owusu, who is vice-chairman of the Ghana Human Rights NGOs Forum said the forum, at its next meeting in Accra would discuss further ways of championing the rights of Godwin Manormawusi.