IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE HIGH COURT
HO - A.D 2018
THE REPUBLIC - (Plaintiff)
ALIANGE YAO KUMAH AND 4 OTHERS - (Defendants)
DATE: 17 TH JULY, 2018
SUIT NO: 02/11/17
JUDGES: (SGD) N. C. A. AGBEVOR JUSTICE OF THE APPEAL COURT
MS. YORK FOR PROSECUTION
MR. GAEWU FOR ACCUSED
The five accused persons were charged with various offences upon which they were acquitted except the 3rd Accused who was convicted on the charge of DISHONESTLY RECEIVING contrary to Section 146 of Act 29/60. The Accused was tried by the Circuit Court, Ho convicted and sentenced to 12 months IHL. Dissatisfied with the conviction and sentence Accused has since lodged the instant appeal against his conviction.
I may have to digress in writing this appeal as the failure of magistrate and circuit judges in failing to write down the facts of the offences charged has become chronic and leads to miscarriage of justice. Very often trial Courts write “facts are as stated and attached to the charged sheet” as a record of the facts of the case. There is ample judicial decision on the need to record the facts of a charge an Accused is facing on each occasion. Also when a charge has been substituted the Court ought to take the plea of the Accused again on the new charges.
In ATINGA FRAFRA VRS. REPUBLIC (1968) GLR 85 the Court in holding 3 held:
“3 Since the facts of the case were not recorded to enable any person to know whether or not they supported the charge and since there was also no record that the accused offered any explanation which really supported or was inconsistent with the plea of guilty, a substantial miscarriage of justice has been occasioned the conviction was therefore bad”.
In DOM VRS. THE REPUBLIC (1968) GLR 767 Edusei J. stated:
"It has been repeated by the Superior Courts of this land that in summary trials the facts as given by the prosecutor must appear in the record of proceedings when an accused pleads guilty. It is only in this way that an Appellate Court will be able to determine whether the facts recorded do constitute an offence or may show that a plea of not guilty be entered instead. Circuit and District Magistrates appear not to follow this directive and I have had several opportunities to bring this state of affairs to the notice of the Judicial Secretary who has sent out several circulars on a plea of guilty by an Accused person the facts as given by the prosecutor must be recorded by the judge and hope this instruction will hence forth be followed”.
In this case the trial judge stated:
"Facts as attached to the charge sheet is read in English and explained to Al and A2 in Ewe”.
This is not satisfactory and must be discontinued by trial Courts.
In the instant case this Court has no alternative but to acquit and discharge the 3rd Accused person Atitsogbui Richard Daniel of the offence charged.
Regional Administrative Officer is to Circulate this to all Circuit and Magistrate Courts in the Region.