19 November 2012

Ghana: Court Grants Bail to Melcom Building Owner & AMA Official

The Human Rights court has granted bail to two persons, who were held in custody in connection with the collapsed Achimota Melcom shopping mall that claimed fourteen lives and had several others injured.

The court, presided over by Justice Kofi Essel Mensah, last Friday, November 16, 2012, admitted Nana Nkansah Boadu Ayeboafo, owner of the Achimota Melcom building and Mr. Carl Henry Clarke, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Ga West Director of Works to bail in the sum of GH¢5,000 each.

The decision of the court follows an application for bail, sought by the applicants after they were refused bail at the Magistrate court, where they appeared hours after their arrest by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

The bail sought by counsel for the applicants, Mr. Atta Akyea was not opposed by the Principal State Attorney, Mr. Rexford Anthony Wiredu.

In its ruling, the court noted that the applicants were remanded into custody for fear of interfering with investigations into the collapsed Melcom building, however, the prosecution failed to provide evidence as to how applicants were going to interfere.

The court also warned the prosecution to desist from arraigning suspect before court to be remanded on the excused of interference with investigations, adding that the Magistrate courts should also not be persuaded into refusing bail based on such excuses.

The applicants were believed to have acted negligently, resulting in the collapse of the Melcom shopping mall, and were, therefore, facing provisional charges of negligently causing harm.

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