Four persons suspected to have murdered one Kwasi Yeboah, a native of Yamfo in the Tano North District of Brong Ahafo Region, were on Tuesday refused bail and remanded again into prison custody by the Duayaw-Nkwanta Magistrate’s Court.
The suspects billed to re-appear before the court presided over by Mr. Divine Kwaku Ahiadu on Wednesday, January 5, 2011, are Kofi Kadie, driver’s mate, aged 22, Kujo Emmininbrah, tractor operator, 32, Gyamfi Kyeremeh, 45, a drinking and chop-bar operator at Yamfo and Evans Peprah Tabiri, 58, a businessman/road contractor, who resides in Sunyani.
Kadie, Emmininbrah, Kyeremeh and Tabiri are being investigated as first, second, third and fourth suspects respectively.
According to the prosecutor Chief Inspector Souza Christian Kwasi Ahatsi, complainant in the case, one Akwasi Donkor is an uncle of the deceased.
He said the suspects were said to have met on several occasions in the drinking bar of Kyeremeh where Tabiri discussed with them the possibility of getting a human being for his ritual purposes.
The last meeting was held on November 9, 2010, which Tabiri was alleged to have attended in a Nissan petrol vehicle with Registration Number BA 3 Y, prosecution added.
Chief Inspector Ahatsi stated that the November 9 meeting started at about 2200 hours till 0100 hours on November 10, adding that the first, second and third suspects agreed to provide someone for Tabri.
He said on the night of November 12, 2010, Kadie went to the house of the deceased, who was his friend and invited him for an outing and that was the last time the deceased was found alive.
Prosecution added that the deceased did not return to the house until the following morning when his dead body was found with deep wounds lying by the road side at Yamfo.
Chief Inspector Ahatsi said the post mortem report gave cause of death as “severe multiple sharp edge and penetrating injuries with an acute and severe anaemia” and also “acute respiratory failure from a collapsed right lung and a spinal cord injury not natural”
Prosecution said the Pathologist’s report suggested that the “deceased’s blood might have been drained for ritual purpose”.
He said preliminary investigations led to the arrest of the four suspects, adding that the case was still under investigations and therefore pleaded with the court not to grant them bail whilst investigation continued.
Counsel for Kyeremeh, a Sunyani-based lawyer, Nketiah Apraku prayed the court to grant bail to his client on grounds that his fundamental human rights were being trampled upon since his arrest was about 32 days now.
He argued between the period of the arrest of his client and the fourth suspect, the police contention that they were conducting investigations into the allegation “is very bogus”, adding that “the police don’t have any basis of conducting any investigation”.
Lawyer Apraku said a person could only be brought to court on a charge of murder based on concrete facts with respect to allegations leveled against the person but “what we do have in this case is only a speculation on the part of prosecution”.
He cited that just after the arrest of third and fourth suspects Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr. Seth Charles Oteng, Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander granted interview with SKY FM, a Sunyani-based radio station soliciting for information from the general public to incriminate his client.
Counsel therefore contended that the fundamental human right of his client was being trampled upon unjustifiably and reiterated his earlier application that Kyeremeh be admitted to bail and that they had men of substance to stand as sureties.
Mr. Alfred Tuah Yeboah also a legal practitioner in Sunyani and counsel for Tabiri agreed with lawyer Apraku for the court to admit their clients to bail, saying “the facts as passed by the prosecutor emanates from weird, wild, fanciful and hollow public rumour and sentiments but nothing else”.
He said a court of competent jurisdiction “don’t deal with sentiments and beliefs but hard core tested evidence, not even statements” adding that what the prosecution had succeeded in doing was to present “cooked-up and half-baked story to incriminate Tabiri”.
Counsel insisted “without any slightest contradiction that none of the other three suspects had mentioned the name of his client so the police were only relying on hollow and half-washed rumour and that none of them had ever met him at anywhere to discuss anything”.
The court upheld prosecution’s plea to refuse to admit suspects to bail so as not to jeopardize police investigation.
It explained that prosecution had been able to establish the time and location where Kadie, Emmininibrah and Kyeremeh met to discuss a request of Tabiri to provide him with human being for ritual purpose.
The court also alluded to observations by lawyers Apraku and Yeboah that the case had generated public interest and would therefore not be in the interest of suspects to grant them bail since counsel could not predict what would happen to the suspects. GNA