The Sekondi Magistrate Court B presided over by Her Worship Rosemary Hayford on Thursday, 28 July 2022, expressed her displeasure over the conduct of police officers in the Western Region who were court witnesses on an inquest on the death of Fijai Taxi Driver, Joseph Entsie.
The Judge on several occasions cautioned the police officers who were witnesses to the court on the basis of the Court seeking truth from them but their responses to separate questions asked by the Court and the applicant’s Lead Counsel seemed to fuel some notions before the Court.
Nevertheless, the Western Regional Police Command during previous Court proceedings failed to fulfil an order made by the Court in making available the full picture of the deceased when he was arrested and detained by the police.
The Western Regional Police Command again defied the Sekondi Magistrate Court B’s order to produce footage of two separate CCTV cameras.
Moreover, on Thursday 28, July 2022, the Sekondi District Commander of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Isaac Kumnipah as a Court witness in the case of the death of the late Joseph Entsie, made the Court furious at him when he was unable to give clear answers to questions on installation of CCTV cameras at the Sekondi Police Station.
The Court expressed its displeasure on the conduct of the police officers and indicated that on the matter of the case in contention, the police unit in the Region particularly, Sekondi Division finds it difficult to produce documents and other relevant information needed by the Court.
The cross-examination questions regarding the installations of CCTV cameras surfaced when Superintendent Kumnipah was being cross-examined by Lawyer Ebo Donkor, Lead Counsel for the applicants where the lawyer was seeking to find out from the Court witness, the person(s) responsible for the installation and management of two separate CCTV cameras.
At the Court, it was known that there are two separate CCTV camera installations where one is installed at the Sekondi Police Station and another at a junction near Sekondi Police Station.
Supt. Kumnipah when being cross-examined by Lead Counsel testified to the Court that, he is the District Commander and does not know the person who installed the two separate CCTV cameras within the same jurisdiction.
However, after Supt. Kumnipah told the Court that he does not know those behind the installation and management of the CCTV cameras, Lawyer Ebo Donkor told the Court that information gathered indicates that the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) has access to the CCTV cameras installed at the Sekondi Police Station and the other one at a junction near Sekondi Police Station.
Lawyer Ebo Donkor who is also a Western Regional Legal Aid lawyer, therefore, prayed the Court to order the Executive Director of National Intelligence Bureau through the Western Regional Director of NIB to make available the footage of the CCTV Camera installed at Sekondi Police Station and the one mounted at a junction near the Police Station.
The Court after granting the prayer by Lawyer Donkor ordered that “the Executive Director of the NIB through the Western Regional Director of NIB should make available the footages of CCTV Camera installed at Sekondi Police Station and the one mounted at a junction near it covering dates and time period from 6:00 am of 24th December 2021 to 6:00 pm of 25th December 2021.
The taxi driver who was then working with Fijai Taxi Station, now deceased was said to have died in the Sekondi Police Cells after he was arrested and detained for allegedly knocking down a police officer on duty on the eve of Christmas dated 24, December 2021 at a Police Snap Check Point at Effia-Nkwanta Nurse’s quarter’s junction.
After the death of the taxi driver, the Police Unit in the Western Region came out with a report that the deceased died by hanging, with his Jeans Trousers inside the Sekondi Police Cells bathroom.
A pathologist Dr Isaac Joe Erskine with the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis (STMA) through a Corona Inquest was ordered to conduct a postmortem examination on the deceased, Joseph Entsie.
The Pathologist expatiating his findings before the Sekondi Magistrate Court B, after the postmortem examination in the presence of Detective Chief Inspector Hayford Alavi and deceased family members, said his findings indicated that Joseph Entsie the deceased did not die by hanging.
At the time that the Court began its Corona Inquest on the matter of the death of the taxi driver, about 27 Court witnesses including police officers, a chief, the deceased spouse, a taxi driver (an eye witness to the incident) and the Sekondi Police Station inmates at the time the alleged suicide happened in cell’s bathroom.
Furthermore, at the time of Court proceedings on 28th July 2022, there have been about (20 Court Exhibits) including Sekondi Police Station Cells empty water gallons, alleged jeans trousers, tape measure, pathologist report, investigator’s phone and the pictures of the deceased.
The rest are the Sekondi Police Station Diary of Action book, statements of 14 inmates, names of witnesses produced by the Police Unit (after an order by the Court), and Crime Scene Management camera (used for pictures taken of the deceased during the investigation at the Sekondi Police Station Cell’s bathroom), among others.
As of the time of filing this report, the mortal remain of the late Fijai Taxi Driver Joseph Entsie, aged 52, was still kept at Effman Eternal Funeral Home at Funkoe in the Ahanta West Municipality in the Western Region.
The case after the Court proceedings on 28, July 2022, was therefore adjourned to Wednesday, 3rd August 2022 at 8:00 am.
Story by Benjamin Bray