Court allows accused person to change plea

The Accra Circuit Court 9 has ruled for one of the accused persons in the trial of the alleged NDC vigilante boys to change his plea from guilty to not guilty.

The third accused person Dauda Mohammed Nazir pleaded guilty to the count of prohibition of vigilante groups and activities contrary to section 3(3) of the Vigilante and Other Offences Act.

But lawyers for the accused today prayed the court to allow for the plea of guilty to be changed as their client did not understand the count and was not provided with a certified court interpreter.

The prosecution led by Superintendent Sylvester Asare however opposed the prayer insisting the court did not have jurisdiction to change the plea as a conviction has been entered.

It was the argument of the prosecution that by virtue of the court entering a conviction based on the accused plea, any further decision aimed at reverting it is in the hands of an appellate court.

The judge in delivering the judgement noted that the court erred as the consequence of the plea was not adequately explained to the accused.

The judge ruled that since a matter ends at sentencing and not at conviction, he is clothed with jurisdiction to make the accused change his plea.

He thus directed for the plea of the accused to be retaken.