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Murder of Suale, JB, others: Minister updates Parliament on investigations

Godfred Dame 20221212121212.jpeg Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney General and Minister of Justice

Fri, 30 Jul 2021 Source: GNA

No docket has been built and presented to the Office of Attorney-General for prosecution since Ahmed Hussein-Suale, an investigative journalist in Ghana, was killed on 16th January, 2019.

The Attorney General is thus not in possession of the docket, “not seized” of the matter involving the murder of the journalist, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Godfred Dame told Parliament in Accra, on Tuesday.

He however said the matter is being investigated by the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.

The Attorney General was in the House to answer a question from Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa MP for North Tongu Constituency “on the status of the pursuit of justice” in the murder cases of slain journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale, with Tiger Eye PI; J.B. Danquah-Adu, late MP for Abuakwa North Constituency; late Ekow Quansah Hayford, late MP for Mfantseman Constituency; and the late Prof Emmanuel Benneh, of the University of Ghana.

The Minister said on assumption of office, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) paid a courtesy call on him on 29th March, 2021, and being concerned about the failure to resolve the Ahmed Suale murder case and other homicide cases, he enquired about the state of investigations into them.

“I emphasized to the IGP and his team the need to conclude investigations for action to be taken as soon as practically possible,” he said.

On the investigation into the murder of JB Danquah-Adu, the Minister reported that the deceased lived with his family in a storey building at East Legon.

Between February 8 and 9, 2016, the first and second accused persons Daniel Asiedu, alias Sexy Dondon, and Vincent Bossu, alias Junior Agogo planned to go on a robbery spree at East Legon.

Armed with various dangerous implements such as a sharp knife, catapult and a cutter managed to enter the diseased house around 0100 hours by scaling the fence wall entered the room of the diseased and first accused inflicted several deep stabs into the neck and chest of the deceased until he collapsed and died.

The Minister said the first accused also sustained injuries in his palm and on his chest.

Investigations led to the arrest of the first accused who admitted killing the MP.

He gave several statements to the police describing what led to the death of the deceased. He also led the police to the crime scene where he demonstrated to them how the whole incident occurred. The second accused also admitted the same upon his arrest.

A post-mortem examination conducted by Dr Lawrence Edusei, a pathologist, gave the cause of death as exsanguination and multiple stab injuries on the neck and chest which he described as an unnatural cause of death.

The Minister said based on the facts, both accused persons had been charged with conspiracy to rob contrary to sections 23(1) and 149 of Act 29.

The first accused, Daniel Asiedu, aka Sexy Dordon, has also been charged with the murder of JB Danquah-Adu contrary to section 46 of Act 29, in addition to being charged with the substantive offence of robbery contrary to section 149 of Act 29.

The Minister said the trial of the accused persons is ongoing in the High Court Criminal Court 5) presided over by Her Ladyship Lydia Osei Marfo.

The case was pending before the same court then presided over by Justice Buadi who was later transferred to Ho.

While the case was pending before him, an order was made for the first accused person to be examined by a psychiatrist to ascertain whether he was fit to stand trial. The Psychiatrist concluded that the first accused was fit to stand trial.

The prosecution has so far called two witnesses who have been cross-examined.

The case has been adjourned on several occasions for the prosecution to call its third witness. In all Prosecution intends to call nine witnesses.

On the murder of the late Ekoe Hayford, the Minister said on October 9, 2020, at about 0100 hours, the police received information of an armed robbery attack between Abeadze Dominase and Duadze on the Mankessim-Assin Fosu Highway.

The police proceeded to the site and found that armed men had blocked the main road and robbed a number of commuters of money and various personal effects.

There were a number of vehicles parked on the road including an NPP branded Mitsubishi Pickup with registration number GN-7822-19, which had blood stains and several bullet holes.

Investigations revealed that the vehicle was occupied by the late Ekow Quansah Hayford, then MP for Mfantseman and some members of his campaign team.

The team was returning to Mankessim after a campaign tour in the Taabosom electoral area when they were caught up in the robbery attack.

Information gathered at the scene revealed that armed robbers numbering about six (6) wearing nose masks, hoods and wielding AK 47 assault rifles and two pump action guns blocked the said road and robbed passengers travelling at night.

When the MP and his team got to the scene, the armed men shot at the vehicle and a bullet hit the hand of the driver whilst another deflated one of the rear tyres, causing the vehicle to land into a ditch.

The armed men approached the vehicle and ordered the MP and other occupants of the vehicle to get out and lie on the ground. One of the armed men pointed a gun at a member of the team and asked if he was the MP.

The late Ekow Quansah Hayford owned up as the MP The armed men took his mobile phone from him and demanded money.

The MP informed them that he had used up all his money on his campaign tour and offered to give them money if they would follow him to his house at Mankessim.

One of the armed men then shot at the MP and they left to attack other commuters. A member of the MP’s campaign team managed to call the police but by the time they got to the scene, the armed men had left.

The MP was rushed to the Mankessim Roman Catholic Church where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The driver and other members of the team were conveyed to the Winneba and Cape Coast hospitals for treatment. The post mortem report on the MP gave the cause of death as haemorrhage shock and gunshot wound.

Investigations led to the police tracing the MP’s Samsung A50 mobile phone to Aboabo No. 2 in Kumasi.

They found the phone with one Nazairu Fudailu Nash, alias SP who stated that he bought the phone from Alhassan Abubakar, alias Abu Fulani, who is a mobile phone repairer for GHS780.

When Alhassan was arrested, he informed the police that he also bought the phone from Mohammed for GHS650.

The police could however not trace the said Mohammed even though they obtained detailed information about him.

On 10th May 2021 a robbery attack similar to the one that claimed the MPs life took place at Heman-Akokoaso on the Obuasi-Kumasi Road in the Ashanti Region.

The police were called to the scene and on arrival one of the armed men pointed a gun at the driver and signalled him to stop thinking they were one of the private vehicles.

The police opened fire and the armed man was instantly killed.

Three of his accomplices, Jibor Ali, Saadoh Ali and Umaro Sandoh were arrested whilst others managed to escape. The armed man who was killed was identified as Mohammed who sold the late Hayford’s mobile phone to Alhassan Abubakar.

In the course of interrogation, Jibor Ali informed the police that the three of them together with the deceased Mohammed were involved in the robbery that led to the murder of the MP at Abeadze Dominate.

On 13th July 2021, the police conducted an identification parade involving all three suspects; Jibor Ali, Saadoh Ali, and Umaro Sandoh.

A number of the victims, including some of the occupants of the late MP’s vehicle identified the three suspects as the armed men who robbed them on 9th October 2020.

Investigations have revealed that the MP was shot by Mohammed who is now deceased. The suspects who are in custody, having been convicted of an earlier offence, have been arraigned before court on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery in relation to the events that led to the death of the late Hayford.

In the case of the murder of Prof Benneh, the Minister told the House that one Ebenezer Kwayisi, alias Junior, on the 10th September 2020, aided James Nana Womba (now deceased) to intentionally kill the professor.

He said they caused unlawful harm to the Professor at his residence at Adjiringanor in Accra after they had robbed him.

The body of the deceased was found on the 12th September 2020, by his sister, Ambassador Elizabeth Afia Benneh, and others after they broke the lock into his residence to gain access because they had not heard from him since the night of 10th September, 2020.

In the course of investigations, three suspects were arrested. The first, James Nana Womba, who is believed to have strangled Prof Benneh to death, died in custody on 17th October 2020.

After investigations were concluded, the docket was forwarded to the Office of Attorney-General on 3rd February 2021.

The advice was dispatched on 17th February 2021 recommending the prosecution of the suspects.

On 21st May 2021, a Bill of Indictment was filed to commence the prosecution of the second suspect, Ebenezer Kwayisi.

The third suspect, Opambuor Agya Badu Nkwansah, was discharged after a study of the docket revealed that he was not at the scene of the crime when the offence was committed, although he was invited by James Womba to assist him to rob the deceased.

Opambuor Agya Badu Nkwansah is now a witness for the prosecution.

Ebenezer Kwayisi has been charged with abetment of murder contrary to sections 20(1) and 46 of Act 29.

His committal was held at the Kaneshie District Court, which committed him to the High Court for trial on 21st June 2021.

The prosecution is waiting for the notice of arraignment at the High Court for the trial of the accused. The accused has been remanded into prison custody.

Source: GNA