Daniel Asiedu, the man who has been charged with the murder of the late Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North, Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu, has told the High Court in Accra that he was threatened by the former Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to admit charges and cautioned statement put before him by investigators.
Asiedu affectionately called Sexy Don Don also told the court that while the former CID boss, Maame Yaa Tiwah Addo Danquah was threatening him to admit whatever the CID Investigators put before him, she later brought him Papaye when he was at the cells to calm him down.
The accused person had pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder and is standing trial at the Criminal Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo.
He has through his lawyers led by Lawyer Yaw Dankwah objected to the tendering of investigation cautioned and charged statements obtained from him by the police when it was about to be tendered in evidence in the ongoing trial by the investigator.
The lawyers contend that, the accused person was threatened, coerced and forces by the police and he did not willingly or voluntarily give those statements on his own to the police.
In order to ascertain the truth of the allegations raised by the accused and his lawyers, the court acting within the law has put the substantive jury trial on hold and it is conducting a mini-trial to unravel the truth.
Prosecution led by Mrs Sefakor Batse in the mono-trial had called the independent witnesses present when the investigation cautioned and charged statements were taken from the accused to give evidence.
Asiedu who is now opening his defence in the mini-trial on Tuesday, March 21, said his life was threatened by the former CID Boss to admit the statements by signing and thumb-printing whatever documents were put before him by the CID or he should consider himself dead.
Threat, coercion, force, intimidation
Asked by his counsel lawyer Yaw Dankwah what he had got to say to the court after he saw and also heard the prosecution presents a series of cautioned statements, charged statements and further statements which they claimed that he gave voluntarily to the investigators and in particular to one Inspector Nkrumah without any use of violence, force, intimidation, coercion or any threat towards him and upon him, the accused took time to explain things to the court.
“In February 2, 2016, I was brought from Kawukudi BNI (Bureau of National Investigation now National Intelligence Bureau) and I had an injury on my head because I was struck with something by some of the BNI officers,” he narrated.
“I was brought to the CID Headquarters and they took me to Madam Tiwa Danquah’s office,” Asiedu recounted to the court.
“What Madam Tiwa Danquah told me was that, have I seen what they (BNI Officers) had done to me and my bleeding head when I was being transported to the BNI office?”
He said “She (Madam Tiwa Danquah) made me understand that whatever she and the CID people tell me, I should admit or the next thing would be my dead body.”
Asiedu told the court that while at Madam Tiwa Danquah’s office, “she sent for Mr. Nkrumah (the investigator and a witness in the matter) to come.”
Asiedu said Mr Nkrumah upon arrival “brought out a paper with some writings on it, but even though I did not know it’s content, it was also not explained to him.”
Forceful signature, thumbprint
He said while he was in handcuffs at all that material time, he was unhand-cuffed “from behind even though I was bleeding to thumbprint it.”
Asked by counsel to tell that if it was the first time that he was asked to thumbprint a document at the police station when he does not know it’s content, the accused said, “they have done that to me almost four times.”
Asked again by counsel to tell the court how he was feeling within his body and particularly the head at that point when he was brought to Madam Tiwa Danquah and upon being told to admit whatever she and the investigators tell him or he would see his dead body, the accused said for fear of losing his life, he obliged.
“When I was taken to the BNI, they beat me mercilessly and they hit me on the head several times so I collapsed,” he narrated.
“Because of this, when I was taken to see Madam Tiwa Danquah and she told me have I seen what has been done to me and if I don’t admit whatever she and the investigators will tell me, I will lose my life, I obliged.”
This was because “I do not know where I will get help from by then,” he told the court.
He continued: “Madam Tiwa Danquah made me understand that whatever was written for me, I should thumbprint and sign.
“But I let her know that I cannot sign because I have not been to school,” Asiedu said of his reply.
He said, “She also told me that I should not worry about what was happening at the moment because she will find a way to help me and to make sure that I have no doubt, she brought me Papaye when I was at the cells and she did this so that I can remain calm and not fear•”
Asiedu said but for what he was told by the then CID Madam Tiwa Danquah, he would have picked those papers put before him to thumbprint or sign and tore them apart and throw them away.
Time with Inspector Nkrumah
He also told the court that, Mr. Nkrumah who derived his authority from Madam Tiwa Danquah was called in his presence by Madam Tiwa Danquah and was asked “to give me a document to thumbprint and sign.”
Asiedu said, “I was seated in a chair with my hands handcuffed behind my back. Mr. Nkrumah asked some one to take off the handcuffs and held my hand to thumbprint on the document.
He explained that, “Mr. Nkrumah also placed a pen in my hand and held my hand and signed with the strokes of the signature coming from Mr. Mkrumah.”
“By then I was afraid of what would have happened to me if I did not follow the instructions I had been given to thumbprint and sign and I did not also know where to get help from so I did as was instructed”.
Asiedu who is also facing another charge of robbery had denied the charges and is also together with Vincent Bossu also denied the charge of abetment.
According to EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, Asiedu who swore with the Qur’an prior to mounting his defence in the mini-trial mentioned his name as Daniel Asiedu Mohammed Ali.