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Make lab, forensic analysis available -Tema District Court orders prosecutors

BY: Della Russel Ocloo

A Tema District Court has ordered prosecutors to make available to the court a forensic and  laboratory analysis reports  conducted on Christian Adjei and Amos Apeku, the two men accused of the murder of Mrs Josephine Tandoh Asante, the Public Relations Manager of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

According to the court, presided over by Mrs Akosua Anokyewaa Adjepong, the forensic and laboratory analysis on the semen, fingerprints and footprints of the two suspects must be submitted to the court on or before March 13, 2019.

The court held the view that the suspects had been placed in custody at the headquarters of the  Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and, therefore, there was no need for the delay.

“From the information made available by prosecution, it clearly shows that the accused persons are available all the time for the forensic experts to extract their samples so why the delay?” she queried.

Defence counsel complaints

The order from the court followed complaints by the defence that the prosecution was dragging its feet in making the reports available to the defence.

The prosecutor, Inspector Beatrice Ayeh, had earlier informed the court that officials of the laboratory were still working on the report.

Counsel for the two suspects, Mr Baba Jamal, submitted that the inaction of the prosecution was unduly delaying the case,   while there were attempts by his clients to seek bail at the High Court.

“The laboratory should be able to give deadlines to their processes so we can all be informed accordingly on the next line of action instead of the usual story of officials still working on the report”, counsel stated.
 
Prosecution’s facts

Mrs Asante, 49, was a Public Affairs Manager at the GPHA in charge of the Tema Port and resided at EMEFS Estates at Mataheko near Afienya in the Ningo-Prampram District with her husband, her 12-year-old son and the first accused, Adjei, 22, a houseboy.

On  January 12, 2019, she attended an end-of-year dinner organised by her employers, the GPHA, at the Senior Staff Club House at Community Six, Tema.

According to Inspector Ayeh, Mrs Asante, in the company of Apeku, left the venue of the programme  at 11: 30pm in a Benz Saloon car, with registration number GN 9558-15, and headed to the deceased’s residence.

She said Apeku, who claimed  to be resident near Michel Camp, alighted at a bus stop and handed over the key to Mrs Asante who continued the rest of the journey on her own and arrived at 12:30 am on January 13, 2018.

Unusual noise

The prosecutor said Mrs Asante’s 12-year-old son was awakened by an unusual noise accompanied by screaming from his mother’s bedroom about 3:30 am of the same day, and got up to ascertain the situation, but met the houseboy in the hall which was unusual and went back to sleep.

She said Adjei subsequently called the boy and told him that he saw a male figure in a black attire over a blue pair of jeans trousers running out of the house towards the main gate, a situation which frightened the young boy who then followed Adjei to the boys’ quarters.

Inspector Ayeh said  around 8:30 am on Sunday, January 13, 2019,  Adjei and the young boy, having woken up, realised the deceased was still in bed, which was unusual and thus decided to open her room to check what could have occasioned that, but found out that the door to her room was locked.

The boy peeped through the windows and saw her lying in a pool of blood on the floor and alerted  Adjei, who called the second accused, Apeku, on telephone.

Apeku, according to the prosecution, came in holding the keys to the house, which included that of Mrs Asante’s bedroom, which he claimed to have found at the entrance of the main gate to the residence.

The driver (Apeku) in the company of Adjei and the deceased’s son, Inspector Ayeh said, opened the deceased bedroom and subsequently lodged a complaint with the Emefs Police Post after discovering the lifeless body of the deceased.

Inspector Ayeh said the police, during a crime scene investigations, found Adjei burying a parcel wrapped in a polythene bag in a hole he had dug near his apartment at the boys’ quarters.

The items, she said, were later discovered to be an amount of GH¢430 and a wristwatch belonging to the deceased leading to the arrest of Adjei.