The docket and record of the court proceedings in the case of the Republic versus Charles Quansah, the man convicted for murdering one of the 34 women serial killing victims, are reported missing from the registries of the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
An appeal Quansah filed eight years ago, according to The Enquirer, cannot consequently, be heard.
The missing of the docket was published three years ago, (October, 2007) in The Enquirer. Since then, the country has seen three Chief Justices, namely, Justice Acquah, Justice Kpegah and now, Justice Georgina Wood, and the case has not been heard.
Quansah filed the appeal on September 6, 2002, immediately after his conviction by an Accra High Court presided over by Her Lordship Mrs. Justice Agnes Dordzie, currently serving in The Gambia, as a judge.
The notice of appeal documents cited by this reporter at that time said that the conviction was wrong in law and that the trial judge erred by directing the jury to disregard the evidence of one of Quansah’s witnesses. It said further that the trial judge also misdirected the jury on the evidence of the accused, hence “occasioning a grave miscarriage of justice.”
The document which was cited in the custody of Mr. Joseph O. Amui, Quansah’s lawyer and bore the stamp of the High Court, also served a notice that further grounds of the appeal would be filed on receipt of the records of proceedings.
But some few days ago, The Herald and officials of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal spent hours combing through dusty files in search of the appeal to see when the case will be heard, but there was no trace of the appeal papers at all in both registries.
This means that until the docket and the record of the proceedings on the case are found, Mr. Quansah who has been sentenced to death by hanging, for the murder of one Akua Serwaa in Kumasi, would not be heard.
In an interview, the Chief Registrar of the High Court, Mr. S.P. Otoo, would not say categorically that Quansah’s documents are missing from the court.
Mr. Otoo who said he took office barely a year ago, was sure that his predecessor, one Mr. Issaka who is currently working with Mr. Yoni Kulendi’s chambers, handed over the docket to the Court of Appeal Registry (Criminal Section), before going on retirement.
However, the registrar at the Criminal Section of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Jude Mensah, who said he has been at the section since 1998, insisted that no record on the case has been brought before him.
To prove his case, Mr. Mensah reached into the Appeal Register Book to verify whether somebody might have listed the case in his absence, but after a while, there was nothing to show regarding Mr. Quansah.
He told this reporter that the High Court Registry is the proper outfit responsible for gathering records of cases that are to go on appeal, and submitting them to the Appeal Court Registry to be listed for hearing. But as it is now, there is nothing to show, implying that the High Court Registry did not do its job.
Back at the High Court, a man whose name was given only as Tony was directed by the Registrar of the Fast Track High Court, Mr. Rexford Gyimah, to check the status of the case from the High Court files but after about 15 minutes, he (Tony) told this reporter: “There is no indication of any appeal.”
Tony declined any questions. However, another officer sitting next to him, who also gave his name as Cephas, blamed Quansah’s lawyer, Mr. Amui, for failing to do the right thing for the case to be heard.
He asked this reporter to send a questionnaire on the status of the case to the Judicial Secretary, Mrs. Regina Apotsi, to answer.
When this reporter reached Lawyer Amui, in his office, he was not surprised at all that the docket and the court proceedings cannot be found at the Court of Appeal, five years after he served the notice of appeal.
The Legal Aids Board requested Mr. Amui to handle the case for a fee, but has since not paid him a pesewa. This is believed to be the cause of his seeming lack of commitment to Quansah’s defence.
The 74-year old lawyer, after showing his swollen right leg to this reporter, said when he got well, he would personally go to the court to ascertain the status of the appeal, and thereafter , visit Quansah at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison.
Meanwhile, some prison officers at the Nsawam Prison, who spoke with this reporter say Quansah, who the Police said openly confessed to killing nine out of the 34 women, has since his placement on death row, maintained that his conviction was a case of injustice because he is innocent of the heinous crime.
Sources at the prisons say that Quansah has told them that he cheekily told the police detectives that he killed nine of the women and not the 34 they were asking him to admit to. This, he claims, was what the interrogating officers twisted to mean that he confessed to killing nine of the 34 women.
Meanwhile, the CID boss had said that the alleged confession upon which Quansah was jailed was not videotaped or recorded.
Quansah, grew very hysterical about his trial and conviction because the said confession claims by the police team led by Mr. Asante Apeatu, ex-Director of CID, is untrue.
He told prison sources about how he was blindfolded on many occasions, handcuffed from behind, taken in a vehicle to unknown locations deep in the night and subjected to hours of gruesome torture which always left him bleeding profusely from his nostrils, ears and mouth.
The convict further alleged that despite the fact that the police arrested him in June 2000 for allegedly killing his girlfriend, Joyce Boateng of Adenta, in the Greater Accra Region, he was rather charged for the murder of a certain Akua Serwaa, around the Kumasi Sports Stadium. She reportedly died on January 19, 1996.
Mr. Amui has also indicated that during the trial, one Cynthia Nyarko, a prosecution witness who was said to be a sister of the late Akua Serwaa , could not identify Quansah, as someone who had intimate relations with the late Akua Serwaa as claimed by the Police.
Quansah also told the court that his real girlfriend in Kumasi by name Akua Nyamekye, is still alive.
Source: The Herald