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Opinion | Jan 7, 2018

Danquah-Adu’s Death Has Cover-Up Written All Over It

Danquah-Adu’s Death Has Cover-Up Written All Over It

The allegation that the coroner who performed the autopsy on Mr. J. B. Danquah-Adu, the slain former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Akyem-Abuakwa-North, has been lost through a criminal act of burglary is sheer hogwash (See “JB Danquah-Adu’s Autopsy Report Missing – Pathologist” / 1/5/18). The story given by the coroner / pathologist does not simply add up, because Dr. Lawrence Edusei clearly appears to have lamely rehearsed two contradictory versions of the same story.

First, the medical examiner, as coroner-pathologists are called here in the northeastern United States, claims that the computer in which the report and other data related to the brutal slaying of Mr. Danquah-Aduwere stored was stolen from his private residence by a burglar. This story would be credible, if the autopsy on the deceased had been conducted at the private residence of Dr. Edusei who, we are told, has since retired. But, of course, it is full public knowledge that the autopsy was conducted at a public hospital in Accra.

As a civil servant or government-salaried worker when he conducted the autopsy, the report was first and foremost the property of the Government of Ghana. What this means is that if Dr. Edusei wanted to keep a copy of the autopsy report, as he was probably entitled to, he could have kept a “duplicate” or backup copy of the same at home, while the original computer-based copy was stored on a government-owned computer at the hospital. There was absolutely no reason for him to have kept the computer in his house. That is simply unprofessional and unethical and even criminal.

Then, of course, there is a second version of the story in which the coroner-pathologist claims that he has personally refused to release reports of autopsies that he personally conducted over the past five years, because in the 15 years that he worked as a publicly salaried employee at the hospital, he was never paid for his services. We are therefore made to understand that Dr. Edusei has decided to withhold the reports of autopsies that he conducted over the past five years, until the government fully settled his salary arrears.

Now, the logical question to ask here is: why had Dr. Edusei not flatly refused to conduct any more autopsies until he had been fully paid, in much the same way that doctors and allied health workers who have not been paid long past due dates routinely embark on industrial actions to back up their contractual demands? And just how has this pathologist been surviving all the years that he has kept diligently and studiously working without a single paycheck?

I have said time and again that until the Akufo-Addo Administration flies in personnel from the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), as former President John Agyekum-Kufuor did regarding the serial murders of the women at the Achimota Junction, in Accra, to take over the case, this murder mystery is bound to go nowhere, by way of a solution. Dr. Edusei also needs to be promptly and rigorously prosecuted, if he shows up in court on his next scheduled appearance without the original autopsy report. Any attempt to anecdotally recreate the autopsy report, as he promised on his last court appearance date will not totally unacceptable. We need the original autopsy report, pronto, and he had better comply.

We are talking about the life of not just about any ordinary Ghanaian – my profuse apologies – but a well-known politician with a prominent pedigree who, by the way, also happens to have been the cousin of President Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo and the paternal uncle of yours truly.

I see two very ugly-looking pictures here, neither of which ought to give us any comfort until the relevant authorities get to the bottom of the same. One, Dr. Edusei clearly appears to be playing possum with his case because he may very well be concerned about his personal safety. We know this primarily because in the wake of the Danquah-Adu murder, the initial police reports, widely publicized by the media, pointed to the markings of a contract killing. The second ugly picture has the autopsy report of Mr. Danquah-Adu being made a scapegoat for all the autopsies that Dr. Edusel claims to have conducted but for which he was never paid.

He knows that the prominent political background of the deceased offers him some leverage here. I am also certain that Dr. Edusei is not the only medical examiner or pathologist in Ghana who could have conducted the autopsy on the mortal remains of the slain Akyem-Abuakwa-North MP.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2018

This author has authored 4439 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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