AN ACCRA Human Right Court has granted bail to Nana Nkansah Boadi Ayeboafo, the owner of the five-storey building which housed Melcom superstore at Achimota.
Nana Ayeboafo and Carl Henry Clerke, the Municipal Head of Works Department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly were remanded by the Accra Community Magistrate Court in connection with the collapse of the building.
Their lawyers including Atta Akyea at the Human Right Court separately prayed for bail for them and without objection from the prosecution led by Principal State Attorney, Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Justice Kofi Essel Mensah granted them a GH¢5000 self recognizance bail each.
The two accused persons were standing trial on provisional charge of negligently causing harm.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charge before an Accra Magistrate Court presided over by Mrs. Mariam Affoh and after the prosecution had requested that they should be incarcerated to prevent them from interfering with investigation, the court remanded them to reappear on November 30.
Justice Essel Mensah was not happy that the magistrate remanded the accused persons based on the request of the prosecution without them showing how the accused persons were going to interfere with the investigation.
The judge advised the magistrate courts not to allow themselves to be persuaded by such submissions from the prosecution in refusing accused persons bail.
He also asked the prosecution to desist from bringing accused persons to court with the sole intention of getting them remanded without showing the court why.
According to the facts of the case, as presented by the AMA’s Chief Prosecutor, Mr. Yaw Twumasi Ankrah, about 9:45 a.m. on November 7, this year, the five-storey building that housed the Melcom Shopping Mall at Achimota collapsed when workers and some shoppers were inside the building.
He said a combined emergency team from the Ghana National Fire Service, National Ambulance, Ghana Police Service, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Ghana Armed Forces and other security personnel were able to rescue 82 persons, some of who were currently on admission at the 37 Military Hospital.
The prosecutor said in the course of investigations, it came to light that the owner of the building was Nana Ayeboafo and it was believed the materials he had used in the construction were of low quality, resulting in the collapse of the building.
In the case of Clerke, the prosecution said he failed to perform his rightful duties as head of Works Department of the AMA.
Mr. Twumasi-Ankrah told the court that investigations were ongoing and prayed the court to remand the accused persons to assist in the investigations.