A staff of the Social Welfare Department in Accra who was seconded to the Judiciary to serve as a juror has incurred the wrath of the Criminal High Court after he was reported to have opted out of the trial.

The Juror (name withheld) is one of the seven jurors who have been empaneled to hear the matter involving the two Kasoa boys alleged to have killed a 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdallah for money ritual.

However, when the case was called for the trial to commence on Thursday, March 9, the foreman of the jury told the court that one of his members said he had sent a letter to the court to opt out.

“The juror had notified me that he had written to the court that he will not be able to be with us for the rest of the case,” the Forman noted.

He told the court that, the said juror told him that he had written to the court to indicate his absence from the rest of the sittings.

The foreman also told the court that the said juror communicated to him via WhatsApp but even though he asked him to send him a copy of the letter he had not done so.

The foreman told the court that the said juror works with the Department of Social Welfare in Accra.

Bench warrant

Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, the Judge presiding over the Criminal Court 5 of the Accra High Court said, the juror cannot take the court back and that his action has got its own implications.

“As at December 19, 2022, just before I proceeded on my annual leave, the court together with the lawyers – (Prosecution and defence) all three of them together with the jurors agreed on firm dates and time between the periods of much 7 and April 20 to commence the trial of this matter,” Justice Marfo recounted.

She added that, “All the dates we (parties) took, about 16 days within this period were agreed to by all parties including the juror who is absent.”

Justice Marfo also said “As at today (Thursday, March 9) that we are ready to call our first witness we assume that everybody is aware of the date and time.”

She said “It has come as a surprise to the court that the absentee juror (name withheld) is alleged to be saying that he had written to this court of his inability to be part of the trial.”

The judge said “there is no such letter from him to this court to that effect and the court therefore assumes that he is just absent for today (March 9).”

The court said he should know that he is duty bound to be part of the trial from the beginning to its conclusion and that it is a “constitutional duty” and therefore “cannot be in his office and issue orders.”

The court said the case will continue on March 13 and the said juror who work at the Social Welfare Department in Accra should appear on the said date.

Justice Marfo said failure to show up in court on Monday, March 13, a bench warrant would be issued for his arrest.

The Registrar of the court the judge said should serve the juror with today’s court proceeding through the Foreman.

EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, who was in court reports that the first prosecution witness was present in court and according to the prosecution was ready to testify.

Previously in court

On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, when the case was originally fixed for the trial to commence, the prosecution raised concerns about their initial witness.

It then came to light also that three members of the family of a 15-year-old juvenile charged together with one another for allegedly killing a 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdallah will testify for the prosecution.

The Juvenile and an 18-year-old young offender have both been charged for conspiracy and murder.

They are facing a 7-seven member jury trial before the Criminal Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo.

Not guilty

While the 15-year-old accused has confessed to their involvement in the murder from the District Court, the 18-year-old accused has, however, denied his involvement.

However, taking their pleas on charges of conspiracy and murder before the trial court, the 15-year-old accused pleaded guilty to the charge or conspiracy but pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.

The 18-year-old accused on the other hand pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Justice Osei Marfo’s court, however, entered a plea of not guilty for the 15-year-old accused because the offence was conspiracy to murder and as a result, had to be tried by the jury.

The charges were read to them in their preferred local languages.


The jury is made up of seven ordinary, but educated persons, who, subject to the directions of the judge, will decide the guilt or innocence of the accused in a case tried upon indictment.

After the seven-member jury had been empanelled, they were sworn in and they chose one of their own as a leader (foreman).

They are expected to arrive at a unanimous verdict which is binding on the court.


The presiding judge while advising the jury to be present in court at all times to listen to, see and hear the witnesses that will be called by the prosecution in their quest to establish the guilt of the accused persons.

“You are not supposed to be influenced by anything you hear or see relating to this matter on social media or in the society.

“You are only bound by the evidence that you hear or see in this courtroom,” the presiding judge said.

Justice Marfo also urged them to comport themselves inside and outside of the courtroom diligently.

“You must not be influenced with money or any other consideration whatsoever.”

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Murtala Inusah