The Supreme Court has set July 26, to commence the hearing of the case in which a 40-year-old teacher who was wrongly jailed for 15 years for defiling and impregnating a 14-year-old student, is demanding GH¢10 million compensation from the state.
The five-member panel of judges presided over by Justice Anin-Yeboah, could not hear the case on Wednesday because of certain errors committed by the counsel for Eric Asante, the plaintiff.
The court wondered why lawyer Victor Opeku had only filed for compensation without adding any other supporting materials to it.
Justice Sulley Gbadegbe, a panel member, asked why the counsel failed to add any supporting material, insisting that he must move the motion for the compensation.
This compelled the counsel to seek leave of the court but Justice Gbadegbe disagreed, arguing that every necessary document required for the hearing was in the media the day the writ was filed at the court.
The judge of the apex court was not enthused about the lawyer’s request for an adjournment.
Justice Anin-Yeboah also noted that the case is a constitutional matter the court is trying to develop.
He asked whether the salaries and allowances of Mr Eric Asante over the period would amount to the GH¢10 million compensation he is demanding from the government.
Justice Anin-Yeboah gave Mr Victor Opeku the last chance to put his house in order for the case to be heard.
A Tamale high court in the Northern Region in September 2005 sentenced Eric to 15 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for being found guilty of defiling Rubamatu Mohammed.
Although Eric Asante appealed against the sentence in 2006, it was dismissed.
In 2012, he went to the Supreme Court and the court granted him leave to file a notice of appeal against his conviction.
The notice of appeal was followed by an application for an order to conduct a DNA test on the child.
The Supreme Court accepted the application and accordingly ordered Rubamatu to make her child available for the DNA test initially at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
The court order was served and received on Rubamatu’s behalf by her aunts, Juliet Tinjina and Gladys Abokokpa, who were then taking care of Rubamatu’s child in Tamale.
Although the court gave eight weeks within which the test should be conducted, the family refused to bring the child to Accra as ordered.
Following the intransigence of the child’s family, the Supreme Court on February 11, 2015, further ordered Juliet Tinjina and Gladys Abokokpa to make the child available for the DNA test – this time at the Police Forensic Unit.
Summarising the report from the Forensic Laboratory of the Police Hospital at the court’s sitting on November 17, 2015, the judge said the result of the test absolved Mr Asante of having any biological relation with the 10-year-old boy who was alleged to be the product of the defilement.