The prosecutor handling the case of Lucas Agboyie, the man accused of killing a seven-year-old girl at Ashaiman in 2015, had a torrid time in court last Tuesday (March 19, 2019) when she tried to rationalise her continuous absence from the Accra High Court where the case is being tried.
Francisca Tete-Mensah, a Senior State Attorney, explained to the court that she failed to show up to prosecute the case because she had been on leave since January this year and that she had written a letter to inform the court about the development.
Based on her assertions, the presiding judge, Justice Charles Ekow Baiden, checked the case docket for the said letter but to no avail.
In a dramatic twist, the judge gave the docket to the court clerk to search for the letter, but the clerk too could not find it.
Finally, the judge asked another State Attorney who was present in the courtroom to check the docket to see if she could find the letter, but after the search, she too said she could not find any letter.
Afterwards, Mr Justice Baiden wrote the incident that took place in his record book and read it out to the court.
Before proceeding to the High Court, Agboyie, aka Sympathy, had confessed to killing the seven-year-old, after which he had sex with her corpse, to the Accra Central District Court in September 2016.
After his committal to stand trial by the district court, Agboyie’s case was initially sent to the Accra High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, but was later transferred to Mr Justice Baiden’s court.
On November 25, 2018, Agboyie’s counsel from the Legal Aid Scheme, Mr Eric Opoku, filed an application seeking for an order for a psychiatric examination to be conducted on his client.
Counsel submitted that he was unable to have meaningful interactions with his client in order to mount any sort of defence for him.
On February 25, 2019, Mr Opoku moved the application, which was subsequently granted by the court.
Consequently, Mr Justice Baiden ordered the Chief Psychiatrist to conduct a psychiatric examination on the accused to ascertain whether or not he was mentally fit to stand trial.
The court directed the investigator in the case, Detective Inspector Simon Apiosornu, to ensure that the orders of the court were carried out and adjourned the case to yesterday.
Heat on prosecutor
When the case was called last Tuesday, Mrs Tete-Mensah got up and made a case that the application for psychiatric examination on the accused was made on the blind side of the prosecution.
She further said that she was not served with the application.
In response, Mr Justice Baiden told her that because of her continuous absence, the case was adjourned on more than five occasions until the court finally allowed the defence to move the application on February 25, 2019.
The prosecutor replied that she did not know that the case had been transferred from Mr Justice Mensah’s court to the current court.
Mr Justice Baiden opened his files and reminded her that she (prosecutor) had appeared before the court for the case on November 12, 2018 and so she was fully aware that the case had been transferred to his court.
Mrs Tete-Mensah then explained that she did not intentionally fail to appear before the court but that she was on leave.
It was that explanation that led Mr Justice Baiden to search for the letter which the prosecutor claimed she had written to the court to inform it about her leave.
Meanwhile, the psychiatric examination on Agboyie is expected to be ready by March 29, 2019.
Hearing continues on April 2, 2019.
According to the prosecution, on April 19, 2015, the seven-year-old girl was sent by her mother with a GH¢20 note to buy bread.
The girl passed by a metal container where Agboyie resided and he abducted and killed her.
The naked body of the girl lying supine on an old student’s mattress, with blood oozing from her mouth and nostrils, was later found in Agboyie’s metal container.