“I know nothing about JB Danquah’s death” – Driver bursts out over attempts to blame him
“I know nothing of JB’s death, nor do I know the persons behind it”.
These were the words of the driver testifying in the trial where his boss, former MP for Abuakwa North, was murdered in 2016.
Samuel Berko Sarkodie appeared to have had enough of the ploy by counsel of the accused persons Yaw Dankwa to blame him for his boss’ death.
He maintained that he was only in court, to tell the truth.
Sarkodie said together with other domestic workers, they were interrogated by the police and discharged after the murder.
Counsel for the accused person, however, doubted the word of the witness.
He was convinced that it was either the driver or someone in the house who had attempted to kill the late JB Danquah and not the accused persons.
Per the defense counsel’s argument, the driver was trying to blame innocent persons for the crime he (driver) himself had committed.
It was the case of Mr Dankwa that there was no way an intruder could have known there was a ladder in the house of the deceased for the accused persons to scale the wall and have access to the bedroom of the deceased.
This, according to the defence counsel, was information only the driver and other domestic workers in the house could have known.
After attempts to get the driver to succumb to the pressure, the defence counsel asked the first accused person Daniel Asiedu also known as Sexy Don Don, to stand to his feet.
Daniel Asiedu, who was in his white long sleeves and brown trousers, proudly got up from his seat and walked a few steps out of the dock to where the lawyer had pointed.
The defence counsel then asked the witness to take a critical look at the accused person.
Daniel Asiedu, with a sinister look in his eyes, smiled softly as though he knew the next line of question his defence counsel was going to ask.
Mr Dankwa explained with the size, weight and height of the late Abuakwa North legislator; there was no way the accused could have overpowered him.
The driver, at this point, sought solace from the holy book. Sarkodie, who chose to give his testimony in the local dialect, said, “Even small David was able to overpower Goliath and kill him.”
His words drew a raft of laughter from court patrons.
The accused persons — Daniel Asiedu, also known as Sexy Don Don, has been charged with murder while Vincent Bossu faces a charge of abetment.
The duo has, however, maintained their innocence.
Here are excerpts of the exchanges between counsel for the accused persons. Yaw Dankwa (YD) and the first prosecution witness Samuel Berko Sarkodie (SBS).
YD: How tall are you?
SBS: 1.79 centimetres
YD: Is it fair to say you are slightly a bit heavier and taller than the late JB Danquah?
SBS: I will be a little taller than him, but we have the same stature
YD: For the last three days, you have seen A1 (Daniel Asiedu) in the dock, is that correct?
SBS: Yes, I have
YD: You will agree with me that A1 (Daniel Asiedu) is nowhere near the size, weight and height of the deceased and even yourself?
SBS: That is true
YD: I am putting it to you that the stature of JB Danquah is such that A1 cannot overpower him in a struggle. Is that so?
SBS: With this, I would want to say something, even in the bible, David overpowered Goliath, so his size doesn’t matter
YD: You will agree with me that a person of your size and yourself, in general, can fight a person like JB
SBS: I cannot fight with my boss, the person who pays my salary
YD: For a person to enter the bedroom of the deceased from outside in that timely manner, he or she must be someone who knows the house very well?
SBS: I cannot tell
YD: I am putting it to you. For a person to enter the house and commit the crime, it must be someone who knows the house?
SBS: As I said, I cannot tell
YD: You are one of the persons who know the house very well since you have worked there for four years; you know where his room is and where he stands on the balcony to throw you the keys, so I am putting it to you that you can commit the crime?
SBS: This matter is very funny. I never said I know the house very well. I have never entered the house or room. If you take me to the house and tell me to take you to his room, I cannot tell where to even go. The place he stands to throw the keys from, if it is his hall or bedroom, I have no idea. There was something I left out in my earlier submission; sometimes the key is brought to me by Jennifer.
YD: You seem to forget a lot of things
SBS: I am old now. I am above 35 years. I am 70 years so I can therefore forget some of the things.
YD: But you were not 70 at the time JB died.
SBS: Yes, that is true, I was around 65 there, and the matter happened years back
YD: I am putting it to you that age is immaterial, and the passage of time does not take away the fact something has happened
SBS: It’s possible to forget
YD: When you went to the house that night, you said you were told what had happened and that the person had used a ladder to enter the room, is that correct?
SBS: That was what I heard
YD: And you will agree with me that a complete stranger who has no access to the house will not know that there is a ladder in the compound, is that correct?
SBS: I cannot tell where the ladder was coming from. When I got there, that was what I heard, so I cannot tell as to where the ladder was coming from
YD: I am putting it to you that you and other people whom you know, know the house well and committed that heinous crime?
SBS: That is not true
YD: I am further putting it to you that the killing of this innocent man was not committed per chance but was done in a well-orchestrated manner and that your attempt to take yourself off the crime has failed because you cannot give a proper account of where you were during the time JB Danquah was killed. The timelines of your whereabouts are sketchy, fuzzy, cloudy and non-existent.
SBS: I cannot tell if it was planned, that I do not have knowledge of. It sounds like a story to me. It is not true.
YD: As a driver, were you aware that someone else (a lady) also tried to harm him in a hotel. Were you his driver then?
SBS: I am not aware
YD: I am finally putting it to you that you have come here to present yourself as an angel, but in fact, you are not. You are living with your conscience of what you and the others did to this man who has provided you with your living, and you have come here to testify against an innocent person who knows nothing about this crime
SBS: I was called to come and testify. I am not here to present myself as an angel, and the truth is exactly as I have said. Secondly, I know nothing about the death of JB.
The provisional facts of the prosecution were that the former MP lived with his family at Shiashie, near East Legon, a suburb of Accra.
The accused persons’ Daniel Asiedu and Vincent Bosso, lived at Agbogbloshie, also in Accra.
According to the prosecution, between February 8 and 9, 2016, the late legislator was chauffeured home in his private car.
The driver 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 first floor of his house.
On February 9, 2016, at about 1 am, Asiedu and Bosso, armed with a catapult, cutter and sharp knife, went to the legislator’s house.
Bosso is said to have assisted Asiedu to enter the house by scaling the wall 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 sleeping.
While Asiedu was searching the room, the MP woke up and held him. A struggle ensued 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, leaving a deep cut in his palm.
The legislator bled profusely and fell by his bed, after which Asiedu stabbed him several times in his right chest and neck.
On realising that the MP was dying, Asiedu left the room and took with him three iPhones and absconded with his accomplice.
Asiedu and Bosso have since been charged with murder and abetment of crime in the murder of the late MP.
They both pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit robbery. Asiedu, on the other hand, has pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery.
Four years after the gruesome murder of the former MP, justice is yet to be served in the case.
The first prosecution witness has since been discharged by the Accra High Court. The next witness takes the stand on May 4, 2021.