An Accra circuit court has ordered two Ghanaian showbiz personalities , David Dontoh and Nat Brew Amandzebah to open their defence in a case where they have been alleged of stealing GH¢93, 000 belonging to Africa Awake.
According the prosecution, the money is part of some 1.5 billion cedis donated by Ghana’s late President, Professor John Evans AttaMills to Mr. Kwame Wadaada, the founder of Africa Awake, an event organising company to organise the Africa Champions League Concert.
Presiding Judge, Afi Agbanu Kudomor has said the prosecution had established a prima facie evidence against the accused hence the order her order.
“In the instance case, there is prima facie evidence that both accused persons by their actions on the said occasions conspired to commit the offence as charged,” she said.
Mrs. Kudomor added that after analysing the evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses, the court finds that “accused persons conspired to steal and stole the said amount”.
It is the prosecution’s case that David Dontoh, and Nat Brew Amandzebah, being signatories to an Ecobank account belonging to Africa Awake, withdrew monies from the account totalling GH930 million old cedis without the consent of the founder.
The prosecution invited two witnesses to testify against the accused after which the defence led by William Bannerman made a submission of no case in 2015. While the prosecution claimed the donation was made for Mr. Wadaada’s organisation to launch and operate the African Music Champions’ League during the 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa, the defence suggested that it was meant to promote Ghanaian culture at the event.
In ruling on the submission of no case, the court held that the burden of producing evidence in criminal trials lies on the prosecution. Mrs. Kudomor said the prosecution invited two witnesses at the end of which defence lawyers filed a submission of no case.
The judge said it was the court’s mandate to acquit the accused if at the end of the prosecution’s case; the evidence given does not sustain the charge against the accused.
She said counsel’s submission that the absence of an auditor’s report absolves his clients of the responsibility of rendering accounts to “the power(s) that be” cannot stand because in the absence of such a report, other means could be used to detect such discrepancies in the accounts.