Lawyers for the two persons standing trial over the murder of the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa-North, Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu have described as flawed the procedure used to adopt the medical report declaring Daniel Asiedu, mentally fit to stand trial.
According to Augustines Obour, lawyer for Daniel Asiedu aka “Sexxy Don Don” the court accepted the psychiatric examination report by Dr. Sammy Ohene, a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital in breach of the Evidence Act.
He argued Dr. Ohene ought to have been put in the witness box, taken his oath before tendering the report which the court had accepted as evidence in the matter.
In the view of the former Senior State Attorney, the procedure used by the court presided over by Justice George Buadi was “unusual”.
Mr. Obour insists that the Psychiatric doctor be recalled by the court as a witness in the trial.
He served notice that although, his junior colleague, Kwame Owusu had at the last sitting waved the right to ask the doctor some questions about the report he will ask two question when the doctor is dragged back before the court.
Ms Sefakor Batse, a Senior State Attorney, representing the state in the matter disagreed indicating that the lawyer through his junior colleague waved his opportunity to question the Dr. Ohene.
She said Dr. Ohene would have been sworn in if there was grounds for that especially when none of the parties had question for the doctor Ms. Batse maintained that there were no breaches and that the right thing was done.
The Senior State Attorney however, stated that the state is okay with the decision of the court if it was minded to invite the doctor.
Justice Buadi in a ruling granted the request of lawyer Obour ordering the registrar of the court to write to Dr. Ohene for him to come to court and tender the medical report according to the dictates of the Evidence Act.
He said the all facets of the case must be grounded on solid foundation adding that the Doctor has to be recalled for his evidence to on taken on oath.
The High Court judge said the court does not put emphasis on documents improperly obtained.
The request by the lawyer scuttled the business of the day which was the empanelling of the jury.
The court was packed with potential jurors for the trial but the people left the court one after the other in anger.
They had murmured over the turn of events waiting for several hours claiming the court had wasted their time for nothing.
The Court on April 14, 2019 ordered the psychiatric examination of the suspect following a request by Mr. Obour.
He had told the court that he believes his client is not mentally sound.
According to him, the interactions he had had with “Sexxy Don Don” clearly proved that he was deranged and as such there was the need for a psychiatric examination to clarify the issue.
“My client can call me and tell me that he is going to be made a Chief at a town in Akuapem so he wants me to come and serve the guests with food,” he said.
The Counsel also mentioned “Sexxy Don Don’s” insistence on a lawyer from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to defend him as another example of why he believed he should be examined by a psychiatrist.
However, the court at its sitting on July 4 this year heard that “Sexxy Don Don” is mentally fit to stand trial in the matter before court.
The report, read by the presiding judge, revealed that Dr Ohene conducted four psychiatric examinations on Asiedu.
“All the four thorough psychiatric examination did not show any sign of mental disorder,” the report stated.
In view of the report, the presiding judge ordered the trial to commence saying “Having been established that Daniel Asiedu is sane mentally, we shall proceed to take their plea.”
“Sexy Don Don” pleaded not guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery and murder, while the second accused Vincent Bosso, aka Junior Agogo pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery.
Sitting continues on July 22, 2019.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson