Daniel Asiedu, the alleged killer of a Member of Parliament (MP), J. B. Danquah-Adu, has been accused of attempting to kill a prison officer at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison.
Asiedu allegedly made the attempt on January 5, 2020 when the prison officer seized his mobile phone.
This emerged at the Accra High Court on Thursday when Asiedu complained to the court that he was being tortured in prison.
According to the suspect, aka Sexy Don Don, he was “handcuffed, stripped naked and beaten” in prison.
He also told the court that there were marks all over his body to prove what he was saying.
“My life is in danger and I want the court to help me,” he said.
Attempt on prison officer
The presiding judge, Justice George Buadi, inspected Asiedu’s marks and asked the leader of the prison officers who had brought remand prisoners to the court, to state their side of the story.
The prison officer explained that Asiedu had complained to one Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP) (name not mentioned) that another inmate had seized his (Asiedu’s) phone.
In view of that, he said, the ASP told Asiedu to call the said inmate who had ceased the phone. When the inmate arrived, he had on him two phones – one belonging to him and another for Asiedu.
According to the prison officer, the ASP seized both phones which infuriated Asiedu who picked an offensive weapon and attempted to stab the ASP, amid shouts of, “I will kill you”.
He said Asiedu was stopped and had since been kept in solitary confinement in prison.
The officer, however, denied that Asiedu had been tortured.
Both the prosecutor, Ms Sefakor Batse, a Senior State Attorney, and Asiedu’s lawyer, Augustine Obour, inspected the marks on Asiedu’s body.
In his submission, Mr Obour said such treatment should not be meted out to his client.
According to him, that was not the first time his client had complained to the court about being ill-treated in prison.
The state, he said, had a duty to protect his client and ensure that his dignity was protected at all times
“Next time it will not be marks, but death. He has been in custody for three years with no bail and even no trial,” he argued.
The prosecutor, in response, said while she acknowledged the marks on Asiedu’s body, there was no concrete proof that they were as a result of torture.
Also, she said the accused must also be mindful of his actions and watch how he behaved in lawful custody.
“I have noticed that there is some behavioural trend and there is a problem with his character. He should be advised to behave well,” she said.
Psychiatrist report accepted
In a related development, the court finally accepted the report of the medical officer who conducted a psychiatric examination on Asiedu.
The psychiatric examination was ordered by the court on April 14, last year following a prayer by Mr Obour who had argued that he believed his client was not mentally sound.
The psychiatrist, Dr Sammy Ohene, had concluded that Asiedu was mentally sound to stand trial.
Dr Ohene presented his report in June last year, but it was not readily accepted following a request by Lawyer Obour to cross-examine the medical officer.
The defence lawyer had since been cross-examining him.
However, at yesterday’s hearing, Mr Obour said he had no further questions for Dr Ohene.
In view of that, Justice Buadi accepted the medical report, explaining that the cross-examination did not discredit it.
“I have listened to the nature of the cross-examination and I am of the view that the evidence of the witness cannot be discredited. I, therefore, accept the report and rule that the accused person is fit to stand trial,” the presiding judge ruled.
Hearing continues on January 23, 2020.
Mr Danquah-Adu was the MP for Abuakwa-North in the Eastern Region when he was murdered at his residence at Shiashie near Accra on February 9, 2016.
Asiedu and another accused person, Vincent Bosso, have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, while Asiedu has pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery.