Obengfo Freed!

Dr. Dominic Obeng-Andoh

An Accra Circuit
Court has acquitted and discharged Dr. Dominic Obeng-Andoh, the Director of Obengfo
Hospital —
a private medical centre in Accra — as the prosecution could not prove a
case brought against him for allegedly practising without licence.

According
to the court, presided over by Emmanuel Essandoh,  the charges levelled
against him were “diametrically apart”, 
and the prosecution could not provide any document to corroborate the
allegation that he was operating without a licence.

Besides,
the court held that there were inconsistencies in the evidence given by the
prosecution witnesses in a bid to prove the case of the Ghana Medical and
Dental Council (GMDC).

Mr. Essandoh’s ruling
followed a submission of no case filed by lawyers for Dr. Obeng-Andoh —
Nana Kofi Bekoe and Dr. Emmanuel Maurice Ankrah — after the prosecution had closed
its case.

It
was the case of the defence team that the police failed to provide enough
evidence to proof their case, urging the court to acquit and discharge the
medical doctor.

No Case

It
would be recalled that another court had earlier this year struck out the same case
against Dr. Obengfo for want of prosecution.

The
medical practitioner had been hauled before the court since June last year and
charged with two counts of practising medicine without lawful authority, and
operating an unlicensed health facility by the state based on a complaint filed
by the GMDC.

Dr.
Obeng-Andoh had all the time denied the charges levelled against him and was in
court at every stage of the proceedings, but the complainant being the Medical
Council had failed to assist the court in the matter.

During
the first trial, the prosecution had on many occasions asked the court for more
time to enable them to gather their document as well as serve the accused
person which the judge had always obliged.

The
court had warned them that it would be left with no option but to discharge Dr.
Obeng-Andoh if the prosecution failed to serve the accused with the prosecution
documents by January 7, 2019 as they (prosecution) promised earlier.

The
prosecution, instead of complying with the court order, rather went back to
court praying for more time to do so.

The
defence lawyers objected to their decision, saying the case had been adjourned
for three consecutive times at the instance of the prosecution asking for more
time.

The
court presided over by Priscilla Dapaah Mireku then struck out the case for
want of prosecution, saying “if the prosecution is not ready to prosecute their
case, the accused person should not be made to suffer their actions.”

Second Trial

Not
satisfied with the decision of the court, and giving that the doctor was only
discharged, the GMDC made another complaint to the police and Dr. Obeng-Andoh
was once again charged with two counts of practising without a permit and
operating a health facility without an operating licence.

But he has been acquitted and discharged by the court through the efforts of his lawyers which implies the police cannot charge him with the same offence again.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak



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