The 15-year-old Juvenile who is standing trial together with an 18-year-old young offender has told the High Court in Accra that, they both committed the offense as charged.
According to him, “Whatever happened in the case, myself and 2nd Accused (18-year-old) did it.”
In his opening statement to the High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo as part of his evidence-in-chief, the juvenile said they committed the act together despite the 2nd Accused denying his involvement all along.
“I want to tell the Court that whatever happened in this case, myself and 2nd accused did it.
“When this issue happened, there were four persons arrested. We were three boys and one girl.”
“The boy who was released, the Police asked me if the other boy was part of us. I was the one who informed the Police that he was not part of us.
“They asked whether 2nd accused was part and I said yes. What I want to tell the Court is that if 2nd accused is denying that he does not know anything about it, then there is nothing I can say.
“But if he was not part, I would not have mentioned his name,” the Juvenile told the Court on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.”
Two teenagers – a 15-year-old juvenile and an 18-year-old young offender (both names withheld) have been charged for the death of 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdellah who is said to be their friend.
Though the 15-year-old admitted the offence while his plea was being taken, the court entered a not guilty plea for him instead as the law enjoins the court for the jury to determine the matter upon full trial.
But, the 18-year-old who together with the 15-year-old had been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, had denied the charges all along.
Below are excepts of Cross-examination by Counsel for the Republic. Question (Q): Answer (A)
Q: Nicholas (A2) is your friend, am I correct?
A: Yes my Lady
Q: You have been friends for over 13 years am I correct?
A: Yes my Lady
Q: You know Ishmael Abdallah?
Q: Where is Ishmael now?
A: He is deceased
O: And you know the circumstances that led to the death of Ishmael am I correct?
A: Yes my Lady
Q: Ishmael was your very good friend?
Q: You are saddened by Ishmael’s death am I correct?
A: That is so
Q. You wish Ishmael was alive today?
A. Yes my Lady
Q. You have told this Court that you know the circumstances surrounding Ishmael’s death am I correct?
A. That is so
Q. As Ishmael’s good friend can you tell this Court how he died?
Q. Please tell us.
A. One Tuesday night I was watching a program on Lucky TV. The person hosting the program was a female and she indicated that when you bring GH¢5,000.00 you will get a lot of money. That night I took the number from Lucky TV. The following morning which was a Wednesday, I went to Nicholas’ house and I told him I was watching a program on Lucky TV and they said when you bring GH¢5,000.00, you will get a lot of money.
After that, Nicholas advised that we call the number and find out what the person would say. When we called the number, it was a female who picked and she asked how many we were and I told her we were two.
She asked us whether we could do what she asked us to do and we said yes we could. She then asked us to bring GH¢5,000.00 and a human being so that she could do something for us. She asked whether we could do it and we said yes we could do it.
The woman indicated that if we were ready we should call her and we answered back that we would call her.
After that, myself and 2nd accused person sat down and 2nd accused asked where we were going to get the human being.
I told him I did not know where we were going to get the human being. He indicated that he had noticed that myself and the deceased are very good friends so we should use him and I said okay.
I asked him where we were going to get the GH¢5,000.00 and he suggested we should kidnap the deceased and call the parents for a ransom so I agreed.
After that, I went home. On Thursday morning, 2nd accused called me on phone that he was coming to my place and that he had gotten a medicine that could be used in capturing the deceased. When he came to the house, I went and met him to take the medicine he talked about.
It was medicine and a handkerchief. He asked that I pour the medicine in the handkerchief and cover his mouth with it.
After taking the medicine, I went to call Ishmael (the deceased) that I had a game that I wanted to give to him.
The deceased came to me and we went behind their house which was fenced. When we got there, the mother started calling him intermittently.
So the deceased left and 2nd accused started talking and got angry. He then took the medicine and hanky from me, threw it away, and left.
We did not talk to each other again until Friday morning when I left with my father for work; my father is a mason. My father asked that I should stay at the work place till Saturday and he left for the house.
I was there when the employer came that my father wanted to speak to me. I spoke with my father and he told me he was not coming on that Saturday so I should spend the night and come home on Saturday.
I was there for some time when I recalled that the plan that myself and 2nd accused took needed to be executed so I picked a car that night and went to Kasoa.
When I got to Kasoa, I was walking from Lamptey going to Coca-Cola when I met 2nd accused.
He reminded me about our unfinished agenda and suggested to me that I should go with him and spend the night at his house. I told him I was going to put my bag in the house and come back.
When I got to the house everybody was asleep so I placed my bag in one of the rooms in an uncompleted house nearby and left for the 2nd accused’s house.
When I got to his house he had bought food and Indian hemp and he asked that we should smoke and eat and devise strategies to execute our plan.
We planned that, that Saturday morning 2nd accused would come to my house and I would call the deceased to come to the uncompleted building and I agreed.
We slept and then the following morning, he asked me to quickly go home and that the time was running. So I went home.
When I got there, my mom and siblings were cooking meals; none of them asked me any questions.
I was there when 2nd accused called me that he was on his way coming. I then went to the deceased’s house.
There was this game in front of their house. Myself and the deceased were playing the game and I suggested to him that we should go and play a jackpot.
The accused called that he had arrived at the uncompleted house and that he was waiting for me to bring the deceased.
I then told the deceased that we should go to the house rather so that I could pick the game for him. I led him behind our house into the uncompleted building.
When we got there, 2nd accused was already there. We carried the deceased into the room and I also got into the room.
There was a sack in the room. I told the deceased that the game I wanted to give him was in that sack and told him to bend down and pick the game which was in the sack.
When the deceased bent to pick the sack, there was a wooden handle of a pick axe in the corner of the room so the 2nd accused got hold of it and used it to hit him (Ishmael) at the back of his neck.
Upon hitting him, Ishmael asked what he had done to me.
That was when I also hit his head with a block. The deceased was still breathing so the 2nd accused suggested we dig the ground and bury him.
I went for two shovels and we started digging the ground. Then my sister came around to urinate.
My sister saw me in the uncompleted building. I cannot tell whether she saw 2nd accused person.
Then I asked my sister to leave the place and go home. So, we buried Ishmael. After that, there were these blocks in the room so we picked them and placed them on the grave. At this point, my mom called me to come and fetch water for her.
I went to fetch the water and when I came, my mom asked what I had done and I told her that I did it with the 2nd accused. My dad went and called his friend to inform him.
When they came they locked me in the room. He told me he was going to call 2nd accused so he left. When he brought the 2nd accused, he denied his involvement.
2nd accused started exchanging words with my dad which alarmed the area boys who came around.
The area boys started beating us so Ishmael’s brother suggested that we should be kept in their room so that they call the Police. We were in the room when the Police came and took us away.
EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, reports that the 15-year-old had earlier stated he would waive his right to speak but later offered to give a statement.
Following the conclusion of Prosecution’s cross Cross Examination, counsel for second accused will also subject him to scrutiny.