Hiplife artiste Kwaw Kese will have to reappear at the KMA Circuit Court on Thursday, April 9 for continuation of his trial for allegedly smoking a substance suspected to be Indian hemp in public, even though he stands firm on his plea of ‘not guilty’.
Both the prosecution and the defence agreed the adjourned date to amass enough time to continue the cross-examination of the witness-in-chief which was started on Friday, March 13.
The witness-in-chief, DSP Kwabena Otu Acheampong, who is the Manhyia Divisional Crime Officer, appeared in the witness box to narrate what informed the police’s decision to arrest Kwaw Kese on the November 22 at about 11pm.
Mr Otu Acheampong told the Court that he was sitting in front of his wife’s shop at Dakodwom, which is about 5 metres away, that night when he observed that the accused person and six others were smoking a substance he suspected to be Indian hemp.
He said he got more curious and got closer and his suspicion was proven to be right.
He quickly informed and sought the assistance of a Sergeant and a Constable who were on duty at the police checkpoint and they immediately arrested the accused, leaving the other six young men who were also allegedly smoking with the accused because at the point of arrest, it was only the accused who was holding the substance.
The witness further told the court that, he interrogated the accused as to why he was smoking in public, and the accused boastfully replied that, the whole world knows he is a ‘wee’ smoker.
But the counsel for the accused, Nana Akwasi Boaitey, interjected in the narration of the witness and said the police could not have interrogated an accused person at the arresting point, therefore, the alleged confession by the accused that he is widely known to be a ‘wee smoker’ does not hold.
On the other hand, the prosecutor, Superintendent Emmanuel Akornnor, also quickly came to the defense of the witness, saying the accused had the right not to speak at the point of arrest, and that the counsel for the accused is trying to interrupt the witness account.
The Judge, William Boampong, cut the argument short by saying what the accused person said at the point of arrest cannot constitute a confession.
The witness continued by telling the court that the accused person and the six others allegedly spotted to be smoking ‘badly smoked substance’ put up a little resistance when the three police officers attempted to arrest only the accused.
He (witness), therefore, had no choice than to call for re-enforcement after which they successfully arrested the accused and retrieved the substance he was allegedly smoking.
Asked by the accused counsel whether the witness can identify the other six persons and why they were not arrested too, he said he cannot identify them and that none of them apart from the accused was holding any substance.
The accused added that, as a senior police officer, he has been taught that before he thinks of arrest, he should think for prosecution and conviction first; that is why he arrested only the accused because he was the one holding the substance. He also explained that they were just three officers and could not have arrested all the other six suspects.
But Nana Akwasi Boaitey rubbished the claim by the witness that, referring him back to the re-enforcement team who came to assist in arresting the accused only.
Nana Akwasi Boaitey suggested to the witness, the accused person was targeted and arrested because of his status in society. He asked the witness the basis of his suspicion when smoke was coming out from various corner of PLUS 2 PUB at the same time.
The witness, DSP Kwabena Otu Acheampong, said his suspicion was based on the thickness of the smoke, the scent, and lastly the way the substance was being passed around from one person to the other.
Nana Boaitey called for adjournment of the case. Cross-examination continues on April 9.