JB ‘Killer’ ‘Insane’ – Lawyer

Daniel Asiedu

In an unexpected turn of events, an Accra
High Court has ordered that Daniel Asiedu, the prime suspect in the murder of
JB Danquah-Adu, the late Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North, be taken
to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital for mental examination.

This follows an application by the lawyer
for the accused person – Augustine Obuor – who told the court that his client
may not be mentally fit to appreciate the consequences of the charges levelled
against him.

In his argument, the lawyer averred that his
personal encounters with the accused person give him reason to believe that he
may not be mentally sound.

He cited an instance where Daniel Asiedu
allegedly told him he was going to be enstooled as chief at Akwapim and was
therefore inviting the lawyer to take charge of the food and drinks for the
occasion.

He also touched on the accused person’s
behaviour in court and his insistence that the court should get him a lawyer
from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The lawyer insisted that these were some
of the reasons why he was praying the court to make an order for Daniel Asiedu
to be taken to the hospital to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial.

Mr. Obour insisted that his client’s
mental state must be determined by a qualified medical practitioner before his
plea is taken by the court.

He added that he had made a similar
application at the District Court during the committal proceedings but his
request was overruled by the court.

Opposition

However, the prosecution led by Sefakor
Batse, a senior state attorney, opposed the application saying “as far as we
are concerned, we are not aware of any mental issues with the first accused
person (Daniel Asiedu)”.

According to her, it was too early to
bring the matter of ‘insanity’ up as she has not seen what has been
demonstrated to show that the accused person is of unsound mind.

Ruling

After listening to the arguments, the
presiding judge, Justice Buadi, ordered that the accused person be taken to the
Accra Psychiatric Hospital for mental examination.

According to him, Daniel Asiedu’s
utterances and insistence on the court to get him an ICC lawyer does not make
him (judge) think that the accused person appreciates events and it is only a
scientific test that will prove that.

He therefore ordered that the case be put
on hold until the medical report on the mental soundness or otherwise of the
accused is scientifically determined.

He also ordered that the report must be
ready in a month’s time upon the receipt of the court’s order and should be
submitted to court by May 27.

The court’s registrar is also to ensure
that the director of the hospital receives the order by close of today.

The case resumes on June 3.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak



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