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J.B Danquah murder case: Court cautions against ill-treatment of accused

A Court of Appeal judge, Justice George Boadi, yesterday cautioned prison authorities over alleged ill-treatment meted out to Daniel Asiedu, accused of killing Joseph Boakye (J.B) Danquah-Adu, the former Member of Parliament (MP) of Abuakwa North Constituency, in the Eastern Region.

He said Ghana is governed by the rule of law and persons held in custody have rights, which must be protected by the state.

Justice Boadi, who is sitting with additional responsibility as a high court judge, gave the warning when the accused, who is charged for conspiracy to commit crime and murder, told the court that a senior Prison officer violently attacked him with a knife last Sunday.

Asiedu, also known as “Sexy Dondon” showed the visible marks on his body to Justice Boadi, and said his life was threatened by the officers in charge at the Nsawam Prison.

His counsel, Mr Augustine Obour, expressed disgust at the conduct of the officer, who allegedly tortured Asiedu, and appealed to the judge to grant his client bail.

Justice Boadi, however, reminded Mr Obour that the liberty of accused could be jeorpadised if  he was granted bail.

When Justice Boadi inquired from the prison wardens who took Asiedu to court, one of them contended that the injuries on the body of the accused were self inflicted.

He told the court that the accused attempted to stab a senior prison officer because the officer seized the mobile phones of Asiedu and another inmate, adding that Asiedu was subsequently detained in solitary confinement.   

It is recalled that on June 3, 2019, the court presided by Justice George Boadi asked the prosecution to take the father and sister of Asiedu to the psychiatric hospital, to enable it complete mental assessment of the accused.

The order was made on the request of Mr  Obour, who claimed that his client was mentally unsound.

However, the medical report of Asiedu, which was tendered by Dr Samuel Ohene of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, stated that the accused was medically fit to stand trial.

The late Abuakwa North MP, was murdered in his residence at Shiashie, a suburb of Accra, on February 8, 2016.

In May 2017, Asiedu and Vincent Bosoo, who were on trial for almost three years, were discharged, re-arrested and fresh charges preferred against them.

On February 6, 2019, the duo were committed to stand trial for the second time for the alleged murder of Mr Danquah Adu.

Asiedu, also known as “Sexy Dondon”, and Bosso, were both charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, while Asiedu was separately charged with murder.

They both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Conducting the committal at the District Magistrate Court, Ms Sefakor Batse, a senior state attorney, said the state would call 11 witnesses and rely on 29 exhibits to prove its case.

She said on February 9, 2016, around 1a.m., the accused planned to go on a robbery spree, but due to misunderstanding, Bosoo did not partake in the robbery act.

 According to Ms Batse, Asiedu went to the MP’s house, robbed him of his three mobile phones and stabbed him (Mr Danquah-Adu) leading to his death.

Ms Batse said that Asiedu gave two of the phones to a repairer to unlock, but the repairer saw blood stains on the phone, and reported the matter to the police, and he was arrested.

The case has been adjourned to January 23, 2020.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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