Sometime in early 1993, James Scott Benin and three named accused persons were arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court on charges of conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping (four counts in all). Before the hearing on the merits could commence, learned counsel appearing for the accused persons raised a preliminary objection to their being tried summarily. The trial judge recorded the reasons urged in support of an application for trial of the accused persons on indictment as follows:
“(a) The charge is a serious one, a second degree felony and too serious to merit summary trial.
(b) If tried on indictment, the accused persons would have the opportunity to know the prosecution’s evidence against them from the outset and able to instruct counsel on their defenses since they would be served advance copies of the summary of evidence; and
(c) Trial on indictment would enable them to know the background of prosecution witnesses who may well be foreign nationals of whom practically nothin…