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20.03.2008 General News

Osei admits being “occasional” drug user: Expert

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A crime scene expert from the Ghana Police Service on Friday said Thomas Osei, the man who drove into the President's car, told interrogators that he was an "occasional" user of cocaine and the last time he used the drug was a day before the accident.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Cosmos Allan Anyan of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters said Osei told them he obtained his supply from Accra Newtown and used it for sexual enhancement and as a painkiller.

DSP Anyan said the accused showed them a mark on his back which was caused by an accident he was involved in when he was in Texas.

Based on the answers provided by Osei, Dr Nana Okine Brako, a medical officer of the Bureau of National Investigations, asked that he should provide some of his urine for test.

Dr Brako and Osei went to the bathroom and came out with a sample of the urine, which was sealed in their presence and he wrote the name of the accused on the medical kit.

Led in evidence by Mr Edward Agyeman Duodo, Principal State Attorney, DSP Anyan told the Fast Track High Court that on November 14, 2007, he received a call from Assistant Commissioner of Police K. Yeboah that the Head of State was involved in an accident near Opeibea House in Accra.

He said he gathered his team made up of a photographer, video recorder, fingerprint expert and a recorder and moved to the scene.

DSP Anyan said when they got to the scene they did not find any of the vehicles involved in the accident hence he extended his investigations to the MTTU office at Airport where pictures of the two vehicles were taken.

The crime scene expert said when the Benz car was searched they found an Islamic audio cassette, 12 pairs of sandals and a cheque book, which Osei claimed belonged to his firm.

DSP Anyan said his investigation also took him to the office of the First Lady, Mrs Theresa Kufuor's where they took another picture of the third vehicle.

DSP Anyan, the eighth prosecution witness, said on November 15, 2007, his team and personnel of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) visited Osei at the 37 Military Hospital.

"Because Osei was about to be discharged from the Hospital, authorities at the hospital handed him over to us," witness said.

DSP Anyan mentioned one Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Agyeman, Dr Nana Okine Brako, a medical officer in-charge of the BNI Clinic and two other officials from the BNI whose names he could not recollect as the team that went to Osei's house at Kisseman, Accra.

The witness said when they arrived at Osei's house, the door was locked but a few minutes later Osei's wife, Sarah Doe, arrived and opened the rooms for them to conduct the search.

“During the search we did not find anything incriminatory but retrieved a Ghanaian Passport bearing Osei's picture but with a different name known as Johnny Kwamina Doe."

DSP Anyam further told the court that while they were in Osei's house one William Boahene brought in a pump action gun with 52 rounds of ammunitions saying when he heard about the accident he came for it but was bringing it back.

Witness said the team proceeded to Osei's office at Dzorwulu but they were unable to open cabinets because one Mr J.T. Wilson, Osei's the business partner, had locked them.

"We did not waste much time there and proceeded to Med Laboratories with the urine where we were received at the General Manager, Mr Jonne Beca's office."

DSP Anyan told the court that Mr Beca broke the seal on the urine, conducted the test and the result proved positive of cocaine and a report was issued.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Mr Kwame Boafo Akuffo counsel for Osei, DSP Anyan told the court that the sketch of the accident was taken by personnel from the Motor Transport and Traffic Unit of the Ghana Police Service.

Witness denied that he took the urine sample of the accused for test.

Earlier, the court dismissed the prosecution's application that DSP Anyan's evidence be heard in camera.

When sitting commenced, Mr Duodu made an application to the court that DSP Anyan be heard in camera because he did not want the identity of the witness to be made public and the fact that evidence to be adduced would touch some aspects on national security.

Mr Akuffo, however, objected to prosecution's submissions, saying the Director for Public Prosecution did not indicate that earlier to the court adding that if they had anything of that sort it should be supported in an affidavit.

Urging the court to dismiss the application, Mr Akuffo pointed out that the matter had been open to the public which needed to know what went into the matter when judgment was delivered.

The court later discharged Dr. Brako, a Medical Officer in-charge of the clinic at the Bureau of National Investigations, after he had been crossed-examined by the defence.

Osei, 51, a businessman, has been charged with five counts of motor traffic offences, use of narcotic drugs and failing to change ownership of a vehicle.

The charges are dangerous driving, negligently causing harm, driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to give way to Presidential siren and use of narcotic drugs.

The President escaped unhurt.

Osei has pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against him and is on remand.

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