By Ivy Benson
Lawyers for the now popular Amina Mohammed, who is at the center of a mass rape allegation on a Yutong bus bound for Bolgatanga, have raised issues with the media for commenting on the case, while it is pending in court.
The defence team asked an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Mrs. Patience Mills-Tetteh, to order the media to refrain from commenting on the issue at its sitting yesterday.
But the judge asked the defence team to repeat the application before the court on the next adjourned date, in the presence of the state attorneys.
The court adjourned sitting to November 15, 2010, when the state prosecutors had not arrived in court at the time the case was called at 8.00 a.m.
The court, therefore, asked the defence team to serve the prosecution with the new hearing date.
The 24-year-old hairdresser was granted bail last week by the Human Rights Court, after the Circuit Court had refused her bail.
The accused person is standing trial on two counts – causing panic and fear as well as deceit of public officer. She has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
According to the State Attorney, Paul Abariga, on Oct 26, 2010, on Adom FM, a private radio station in Tema in the Greater Accra Region, Amina Mohammed was on the airwaves, where she said she was travelling with her mother and three children on a Yutong bus with registration number GN 263-10 to the north.
The prosecution told the court that the accused person, who resides in Tema in the Greater Accra Region, said on the airwaves that the bus was attacked by armed robbers on the highway, during which the robbers forced the men on the bus to rape the female passengers.
She further alleged that a father was forced to rape his 14-year-old daughter, adding that passengers were robbed of their belongings, and while most of the females on board, were also forced to have sex with some of the males by the robbers.
The prosecution told the court that following the narration on the airwaves, several radio stations picked up the issue, which led to causing extensive fear and panic among the people.
The prosecution also told the court that on Oct 12, 2010, the driver of the Yutong bus lodged a complaint at the Ejisu police station, that his bus containing 47 passengers was attacked by armed robbers at Kubease in the Ejisu Municipality, but denied that a mass rape of the female passengers took place.
The prosecution noted that it was the statement of the driver that en route to Bolgatanga he encountered a scenario, where armed robbers had blocked the road with logs, but he managed to drive through and escape the armed attacks on the bus, which resulted in damage to the windscreen of the vehicle.
The driver was said to have gone to the Ejisu Police Station to report the incident.
He spent 30 minutes at the station and left for his destination. He has since arrived safely, the court was court.