A Circuit Court in Accra has discharged Dr. Dominic Kwame Obeng-Andoh, the director of Obengfo Hospital, a private medical centre in Accra and struck out a case against him for want of prosecution.
He was hauled before the court in June last year on two counts of practising medicine without lawful authority and operating an unlicensed health facility based on a complaint filed by the Ghana Medical and Dental Council (GMDC).
Dr. Obeng-Andoh denied all the charges leveled against him and has been in court at every stage of the proceedings but the complainant- GMDC- failed to assist the court in the matter.
The prosecution was subsequently ordered by the court to comply with the rule on disclosure of documents and serve the medical doctor with all the documents it intended to rely on for the case.
The prosecution asked the court for more time on numerous occasions to gather documents, as well as serve the accused person, which the judge always granted.
The court warned the prosecution that it would be left with no option than to discharge Dr. Obeng-Andoh if fails to serve the accused with the prosecution documents by January 7, 2019 as promised earlier.
The prosecution, instead of complying with the court’s order, rather went back to court to seek more time.
Nana Kofi Bekoe, who held brief for Dr. Emmanuel Maurice Ankrah, counsel for Obengfo, however, objected to the prayer, saying the case had been adjourned for three consecutive times at the instance of the prosecution which is again asking for more time.
He disclosed that the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, which is the complainant in the matter, never sent a representative to court.
The court, presided over by Priscilla Dapaah Mireku, reminded the prosecution that it promised during the last sitting to serve the accused with the documents but failed to do so.
She disclosed that Article 19 of the 1992 Constitution states that an accused person is presumed to be innocent unless proven otherwise or the accused person pleads guilty.
“If the prosecution is not ready to prosecute its case, the accused person should not be made to suffer their actions. The accused person is therefore discharged and case struck out for want of prosecution,” Mrs. Dapaah-Mireku ruled.
She added that the prosecution can pursue the case when it’s ready to do so.