Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, on Tuesday, 27 July, 2021, updated Parliament on the status of investigation into some ‘high profile’ murder cases in the country.
The update include the alleged murders of Tiger Eye PI’s investigative journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale, former MPs for Abuakwa North and Mfantseman, Joseph Boakye Dankwa Adu and Ekow Hayford respectively and former law lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Emmanuel Yaw Benneh.
Mr Dame was responding to a question asked of him by North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who wanted to know the status of investigation into those alleged murders.
Mr Dame said, “No docket has been built and presented to the Office of Attorney-General for prosecution since the deceased was killed on 16th January,2019. The Attorney-General is thus not seised of this matter,” he said of Ahmed Hussein-Suale.
However, upon assumption of office in March this year as the principal legal adviser to the government, Mr Dame said he received a briefing on the case by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
Sharing the status of investigations into the 31 year old’s killing and details of the briefing with the House, he said four suspects – Edward Gatson Kofi Goka, Musah Iddrisu, Francis Osie Poku and Abdul Rashid Meizongo – who were earlier arrested in connection with the murder have been granted police enquiry bail because the prosecution witnesses could not identify them after a sketch of the alleged assailants were made available to them.
Trial of two accused persons – Daniel Asiedu and Vincent Bossu – in the murder of the late Abuakwa North legislator, the A-G told the House, was ongoing in the High Court (Criminal Court 5).
“The first Bill of Indictment was filed on 16th February, 2017. Nolle prosequi was entered on 29th May, 2017, effecting a discontinuance of the matter. This was to enable further investigations to be conducted on the identity of the masterminds of the murder.
“On 25th January, 2019, a fresh Bill of Indictment was filed and the accused were committed to trial. On 15th April, 2019, the 1st accused was referred to the psychiatric hospital for assessment. This process took quite a while. The accused was eventually declared fit to stand trial on 9th January, 2020.”
The trial, however, was delayed by the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease which forced the trial of all criminal cases to be put on hold.
Prosecution has since called three witnesses following the recommencement of the case on February, 9, 2021 with the case adjourned to 21st October, 2021 in view of the impending legal vacation, he added.
Five suspects, Jibor Ali, Saadoh Ali, Umaro Sandoh, Alhassan Abubakar and Nazairu Fudailu Nash, the Attorney-General disclosed were standing trial in the murder of the late Mfantseman legislator.
He said they were identified in an identification parade by persons who were with the slain lawmaker in October 2019 after they were arrested in a similar robbery attack similar to the one that claimed the MPs life.
“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 Ekow Quansah Hayford.”
In the case of the murder of the 66 year old University of Ghana law lecturer, Professor Benneh, the A-G said though the first suspect, James Nana Womba, who is believed to have “strangled” the deceased to death, died in custody on 17th October 2020, prosecution of a second suspect, Ebenezer Kwayisi, has commenced.
With a third suspect, Opambuor Agya Badu Nkwansah, 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 rob the deceased, committal proceedings have been held at the Kaneshie District Court as prosecution awaits the notice of arraignment at the High Court.