The killing of J.B. Danquah-Adu

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 Source: Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey

All court-going lawyers will tell you that there are two types of applications in court: motion on notice, and motion ex parte.

A motion on notice is where I file an application and I notify you that I am going to get an order to restrain you from doing something or to sell your house at such and such price or whatever.

The judge will insist that there is proof that you have been served with the process before the motion can be heard.

But there is also something called motion ex parte – this one is without notice to you, as it is done behind your back, to surprise you for the sake of effectiveness. An instance is when you want a court order to serve somebody by substitution or somebody is running away from the jurisdiction and you want an absconding warrant to arrest him at the airport and things like that.

Death on notice and death ex parte

Reader, so it is with death. We have death on notice and also death ex parte commonly called sudden death.

Death on notice is where you are suffering from a prolonged illness, going regularly to the hospital (like my mother’s last born who was suffering from seemingly incurable chronic diabetes, pending amputation and always lying down, almost lifeless. Her death was not a surprise).

Or the death of Nelson Mandela in South Africa which virtually the whole world was daily expecting or the death of Pope John Paul II who CNN and all the major networks monitored his last minutes on earth. That is death on notice.

An example of death ex parte was that of President John F. Kennedy. He was in his motorcade waving to cheering crowd when a long-shot assassin’s bullet dispatched him. Another was that of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who was standing on the dais reviewing a ceremonial parade and one of the armoured vehicles got to the saluting dais and instead of the occupants saluting the President they just opened fire, killing him instantly.

I so well remember my learned friend Charles Arday, some extraordinarily handsome young lawyer, who travelled to the Obuasi High Court and on his way back to Accra he had an accident and died.


Or the extremely unbelievable and incomprehensible death of Nana Yeboah, Amakye Dede’s manager. I honestly don’t understand that man’s death. He and others were going for a programme; they had stopped by the wayside, completely off the road, Amakye Dede in the car, alone, changing his costume into a flowery designer dress, his driver, bodyguard and manager standing not on the road but just beside the car, chatting, sharing jokes, receiving phones calls. Then from nowhere, reader, literally nowhere, a car veered off the road, and hit the stationary car and Amakye Dede’s manager fell dead!!!

Oh God – save us!!!

I knew Mr Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu so well. He had a way of calling me………….Capteeen!!! He always had a permanent smile for me, and the goodwill between us was absolute.

Time check: circa 0200 hours. MP deeply asleep, then assailants used a ladder to gain access to his upstairs bedroom, and before the lawmaker could properly appreciate what was happening, daggers were being driven through his body, just like how over- ambitious Macbeth killed the King, Duncan.

Dead man within seconds, Terribly confounding. Horrendous. Discombobulating. Death Ex Parte. Big funeral on our hands.

I have always told whoever will listen that the manifestation of God’s power is the secret of tomorrow. No historian — Adu Boahene, Basil Davidson, not even Herodotus himself — could predict with accuracy the events of tomorrow.

When Tiberius Caesar was born, he was a weakling always being attended to by doctors. Nobody gave him a toddler’s chance of survival, but he lived and reigned as Roman Emperor for over 20 years.

In Kumasi, Nana Opoku Ware I was born as a weakling, always being attended to by local doctors, no hope of survival yet he lived, became Asantehene, and expanded Asante’s borders to twice the size of present-day Ghana as of the time of his death.

Almighty God is not subject to logic. He is sovereign. He does what pleases Him, because the world is for Him.

Never think that you are alive today because you have been given a clean bill of health by the doctor or that you are surrounded by a brigade of crackpot guards or that your biceps are stronger than the BMW engine, no, it is just the Grace of God. Just by His Grace.


And so the very first lesson from the death of the MP is that each of us, no matter our current status — lawyer, judge, soldier, chief, president, whatever, whatever — death can snatch us anytime, either on notice or ex parte.

Are you prepared?

The other very curious lesson is that the way he died means someone deliberately planned his execution. In other words, he had a beef with somebody – surely there must be a motive for somebody to desire his death, either as vengeance or to remove him as an obstacle to somebody’s objective.

There is this famous Mario Puzo book – “OMERTA – the law of silence” – reader, download it from the Internet and read it. Motive for your death can be infinite.

And so we draw the lesson that you must so live your life that God will have a superior motive for keeping you alive. When was the last time you went to church? When was the last time you read your Bible? Reader, be honest and ask yourself this question: what have I done with my life to make God want to keep me alive?

The third and final lesson is that whether on notice or by ex parte, we shall all cease to exist one day. Sometime last week, I was listening to the terrible unprintable exchanges between Kennedy Agyepong and Afia Schwarzenegger and I asked myself : in 10 years time when these tapes are played to them, how will they react?

Life is transient. Here today, gone tomorrow. That is why the wisest man who ever lived – King Solomon – concluded that “all is vanity” and Abrantie Amakye Dede gave the local parlance “Beberebe yi amfa yen nkosi hwee” Rest in Peace. Honourable.

Columnist: Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey