An Accra Circuit Court yesterday denied a bail request for Lester Ekow Micah, President of the Ghana Music Council, on trial over narcotics related charges.
The trial judge, Aboagye Tandoh, said the bail request was premature and explained that the prosecution ought to be allowed to pursue their case before the court.
Judge Tandoh urged Ekow Micah to “relax” because all accused persons are presumed absolutely innocent of the charges preferred against them until the court took a contrary decision.
This was shortly after popular celebrity lawyer, Dr. Maurice Ampaw, a new member of the defense team had told the court that the musician had whispered into his ears to apply for bail on his (Micah’s) behalf.
Spotted in a pink and blue-black T-Shirt over a blue pair of jeans trousers, Micah appeared undisturbed in the dock as his lawyers took turns to approach him in the dock as and when he signaled them.
However, hours after the judge had issued a stern warning to the prosecution over their seeming foot-dragging over the case, the prosecution managed to arrange the first of three witnesses for the trial.
D/Cprl. Evans Adu from the Airport Police Station led in evidence by the prosecutor ACP Moses Atibilla told the court that the accused was arrested in connection with an extortion case on August 4.
He said on August 5, a day after the arrest, he, Micah and the investigator in the case, one D/Cprl. Richard Ayayi went to the house of the accused to conduct a search in respect of the extortion case as reported by the complainant.
D/Cprl. Adu said while searching the room, he found a black polythene bag in another bag containing the substance suspected to be Indian hemp.
He said, Micah when questioned about the source of the drug admitted ownership and told the police that he used it to “ginger” himself in his music career.
John David Percey lawyer for Ekow in cross examining the witness said the police officer arrested his client based on the suspicion that the substance was a narcotic drug, a position the witness admitted.
Earlier, the lawyer had said that the facts as presented by the prosecution did not support the charges.
Lawyer Percey said it was necessary the attention of the Attorney General (AG) was drawn to the concern he had raised.
On that, the judge said the prosecution was mandated by the AG to prosecute the case on her behalf.
Mr. Tandoh said he does not see anything wrong with the facts of the case as presented by the prosecution.
Dr. Ampaw, in submission, argued that the substance for which Ekow Micah was being tried had not been tested to ascertain what it was.
In responding to Dr. Ampaw’s observations, the trial judge was emphatic that Micah had denied the offence and that whether the substance was ready or not was not the case.
He noted that the accused may not even have to open his defense in the event that the prosecution failed to make a case against him.
Sitting has been adjourned until August 31, 2015.
The facts of the case are Micah, on August 4, this year, was arrested by the Airport Police over an alleged extortion case currently under investigations.
ACP Atibillah said the following day, the Police and Micah who wears dreadlocks visited his (Micah’s) house to conduct a search and in the process, a quantity of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp was found concealed in Micah’s “back pack”.
The senior police officer stated that the popular reggae musician admitted ownership of the exhibit and told the police that he smokes the substance to stimulate his music career.