Prosecution modifies facts of case on Tema Port Officer’s murder
Prosecutors in the case involving the murdered Marketing and Public Relations Officer of the Tema Port, Mrs Josephine Tandoh Asante, have rearrested the two prime suspects, Christian Agyei and Amos Apeku, with the same charges but modified facts.
Agyei, the house boy of the deceased, and Apeku, her driver, were immediately put before the court and joined as defendants in the case. The Tema TDC Magistrate Court, presided over by Mrs Akosua A. Agyepong, subsequently remanded them in police custody to reappear on Feb 28.
At its sitting last Thursday, lawyers for the two accused persons, Messrs Baba Jamal and Isaac Eshun for Christian Agyei, the first accused, and Amos Apeku, the second accused, respectively, had argued for bail for their clients.
The prosecutor, Inspector Beatrice Ayeh, however, opposed the application for bail, stating that since the case was under investigation and the body fluids of the suspects and other pieces of evidence from the crime scene were still being analysed at the Police Forensic Laboratory, granting them bail could affect investigations.
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The magistrate, Mrs Akosua A. Agyepong, in her ruling, said even though the Supreme Court had ruled that all cases were bailable, her court was not clothed with the powers to try the accused.
She, therefore, directed the lawyers of the two accused persons to apply for bail in the appropriate court and adjourned the case to February 28, 2019.
The court had earlier, based on the application of the prosecution, struck out the initial charges and facts presented by the prosecution against the two accused persons, leading to their discharge by the court.
The two suspects were, however, immediately re-arrested and put before the court with fresh charges of murder.
The cases of the two have also been consolidated.
Inspector Ayeh told the court that Mrs Asante lived at EMEFS Estates at Mataheko, near Afienya, with her 12-year-old son and the first accused person, who lived in the boys’ quarters of the house.
She said the second accused person worked at the GPHA and was the official driver of the deceased.
He said on January 12, 2019, Mrs Asante attended a party organised by the GPHA at the Senior Staff Club House at Community Six, Tema.
Inspector Ayeh said at about 11:30 p.m., the second accused person drove the deceased in her Mercedes Benz saloon car and alighted at the Michel Camp bus stop, while she drove the rest of the distance to her, getting home about 12:30 a.m. on January 13, 2018.
Inspector Ayeh said about 3:30 a.m., the deceased’s son was awakened by unusual screaming from his mother’s room and got up to ascertain what the problem was but met the houseboy in the hall, which was unusual, and the boy went back to sleep.
The prosecutor said later the houseboy called the deceased’s son and told him that he had seen the figure of a male adult wearing a black shirt and jeans running out of the house through the main gate.
She said the boy became frightened and went to sleep in the boys’ quarters with the houseboy.
She said in the morning when the houseboy and the deceased’s son woke up about 8:30 a.m., they realised that Mrs Asante had still not woken up, and that was unusual of her.
When the boy tried opening the door to find out what the problem was, he found it locked.
The prosecutor said the boy later peeped through the window and saw her mother lying helplessly in a pool of blood on the floor.
He quickly alerted the houseboy and later called the driver on phone to come to the house to witness his mother’s condition.
She said when the driver came to the house, he was holding the keys to the house, which included those to Mrs Asante’s room which he claimed to have found at the entrance of the main gate of the house.
Inspector Ayeh said the key was used to open the deceased’s bedroom, where she was found dead in a pool of blood in a supine position on the floor.
She said the police were informed, and while they were conducting crime scene investigations, the houseboy was seen allegedly burying a consignment wrapped in a plastic bag in a hole he had dug near the boys’ quarters.
The prosecutor said the houseboy was accosted and when it was opened, GH¢430 and a wrist watch belonging to Mrs Asnate were found concealed in it.
She said the two suspects were arrested to assist in investigations, while the body was conveyed to the Police Hospital mortuary for preservation.
She said on January 16, 2019, a post-mortem examination of the body gave the cause of death as death from asphyxia, strangulation and suspected homicide (unnatural).
Inspector Ayeh added that the two suspects denied their involvement in Mrs Asante’s death.