The age of Daniel Asiedu, the person accused of the murder of the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North, J.B. Danquah-Adu, has now become a major issue in his (Asiedu’s) committal proceedings at the Accra District Court
The lawyer for the accused, Mr Augustine Obour, has consistently argued before the court that his client is 18 and, therefore, ought to be tried under the Juvenile Justice, 2003 (Act 653) as a young offender.
Mr Obour reiterated his position at today’s hearing of the case and prayed the court to order the prosecution to release a medical report on a test that was conducted on Asiedu to ascertain his right age.
Kasapa Fm’s court correspondent, Daakyehene Ofosu Agyeman reported the lawyer as saying ‘the Juvenile Justice Act 653 says any person less than 21 years is a young offender and Even if Daniel Asiedu is 19 years he is not to be trialed here’.
According to him, the police disputed the age that Asiedu gave them upon his arrest and went ahead to conduct a test to ascertain his true age.
“He was sent to the Police Hospital and a bone test was conducted upon him in order to determine his true age. We, therefore, want a copy of the report on that test,’’ he said.
Counsel further argued that the revelation of Asiedu’s true age could have far-reaching consequences on the case.
“If the medical report says that he is 18, then he must be accorded certain privileges, but if the report gives him less than 18, then he is not supposed to stand trial at all,’’ he said.
The Prosecutor, Superintendent of Police Francis Baah, however says the Criminal Code Act 181, 182 does not permit investigators to release their information until the court orders so.
The presiding Judge, Stephen Owusu adjourned the case to 19th October, 2016 for hearing to continue and rule on whether the report has to be handed over to the accused.
Asiedu has been charged with murder, while Vincent Bosso, the second accused person, has been charged with abetment of crime.
The facts of the case are that the MP lived with his family in a one-storey house at Shiashie, near East Legon, a suburb of Accra, while Asiedu and Bosso lived at Agbogbloshie, also in Accra.
About 11:40 p.m. on February 8, 2016, the MP arrived home in his private car driven by his driver. The driver had handed over the ignition keys of the car to Mr Danquah-Adu and left for home, after which the MP retired to bed in a room located on the upper floor of his house.
About 1 a.m. that same night, Asiedu and Bosso, armed with a catapult, a cutter and a sharp knife went to the legislator’s house.
Bosso is said to have assisted Asiedu to enter the house by scaling the fence on the blind side of a security man who was fast asleep. On entering the house, Asiedu picked a ladder and climbed onto a porch on the top floor and entered the MP’s bedroom through a window while Mr Danquah-Adu was asleep
While Asiedu was searching the room, the MP woke up and held him. There ensued a struggle, during which Asiedu stabbed the MP in the right chest above the breast. The MP consequently held the knife and Asiedu pulled it through his hand, making a deep cut in his palm.
The legislator, who bled profusely, fell by his bed, after which Asiedu stabbed him several times on his right chest and neck.
On realising that the MP was dying, Asiedu left the room and took with him three iPhone smart phones.
Meanwhile, the struggle between the MP and Asiedu had drawn the attention of the security man in the house, who alerted other security men in the neighbourhood.
Having been alerted to the impending danger, Bosso took to his heels, leaving Asiedu behind. However, Asiedu managed to descend from the top floor of the house and jumped over the electric fencing on the walls of the house into an adjoining house and escaped.