AG Briefs Parliament On Status Of Ahmed Suale Murder Investigations: ‘US Forensics’ Roped In!

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame, has revealed that, as part of investigations into the dastardly murder of Divela Hussein Ahmed Suale, 31, two mobile phones- iPhone 7 plus and Huawei smart phone- belonging to the late Tiger PI lead Investigator, were sent to the United States of America for unlocking and extracting of information by Information Technology experts there.

“The mobile phones of the deceased were sent to the United States of America for unlocking and extracting of information by Information Technology experts over there. On 17th July, 2020, a request letter to that effect was sent to the US Embassy. On 11th August, 2020, the phones were sent to the US through their American Embassy in Accra,” Mr. Dame stated in response to questions by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu on the status of some murder cases including that of Hussein Ahmed Suale.

The Attorney General continued that, “In February, 2021, the American Regional Security Officer, Bill Peiler, successfully handed over the two iPhone 7 plus Huawei smart phone belonging to the murdered investigative journalist, Ahmed Suale together with external drive containing the data extracted from the phones to the investigator”.

Currently, according to the Minister of Justice, “The huge volumes of data comprising millions of documents, videos, audios, text and Whatsapp messages are being analysed by a team from the Homicide and Cybercrime Units. Investigations on other aspects of the matter also continue.”

Investigations into the murder of the late Ahmed Suale, the Minister disclosed, commenced immediately after his death on 6th January, 2019.

“Two empty shells of 9 x 199mm were found on the ground while three other empty shells and three spent pellets of 9 x 19mm ammunition were also found in the car. An iPhone 7 plus mobile phone and Huawei smart phone belonging to the deceased were also found and retrieved,” the Attorney General indicated in the response.

He added that on 17th January, 2019, an autopsy was performed on the body of the deceased by Dr. Osei Owusu-Afriyie, a pathologist at the Police Hospital after it was identified by a paternal uncle of the deceased, Ex-WO1 Alhaji Mahama in the presence of the police. The pathologist gave an interim cause of death as (a) hemorrhagic shock (b) severe chest injury and (c) gun shot at close range (un-natural), before the body was subsequently released to the bereaved family for interment.

Read below excerpts of Attorney General Godfred Dame’s response to the question by the North Tongue MP pertaining to the death of Ahmed Suale:

QUESTIONS BY MR. SAMUEL OKUDZETO ABLAKWA (MP, NORTH TONGU)

Status of the pursuit of justice in the following murder case:

*i. MURDER OF AHMED HUSSEIN-SUALE

This is a matter being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service. No docket has been built and presented to the Office of Attorney-General for prosecution since the deceased was killed on 6th January, 2019. The Attorney-General is thus not seised of this matter.

However, on being appointed Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) paid a courtesy call on me on 29th March, 2021. Being concerned about the failure to resolve this and other homicide cases, I enquired about the state of investigations into same. I demanded a report on the status of investigations to be delivered to me within one week

The Director-General of the CID obliged my request and presented an account of work done so far on the Ahmed Suale murder case.

Even though the Attorney-General is not seised of this matter as no docket has been presented to the Office, in exercise of my discretion as principal legal adviser to the Government, I hereby proceed to share with this Honourable House some aspects of the information received pursuant from the CID.

Facts

*1. The deceased, Divela Hussein Ahmed Suale aged 31, was a lead undercover investigative journalist with Tiger Eye PI, an investigative firm in Africa. The firm investigated the “Number 12 Expose”, which exposed the illicit conduct of top football administrators in Ghana. The expose, conducted between 2016 and 2017, exposed senior officials of the Ghana Football Administration (GFA) including Kwesi Nyantakyi, then President of the GFA and Abdulai Alhassan, former Chairman of the Northern Regional Football Association and many others. The “Number 12” documentary was aired at the National Theatre, Accra in June, 2018.

*2. On 6th January, 2019, the deceased paid a visit to his relatives in their family house at Madina New Road, near Queen of Peace Catholic Church. Whilst there, at about 2200 hours GMT, he received a phone call from his brother Iddrissu Abdul-Rahman who lives in the deceased’s house to the effect that the condition of his son, aged 10, at the time, was deteriorating. He left his family house to attend to the sick son. He moved his private BMW saloon car and on reaching the “T” junction of the main road, which is about 100 metres away from his family house, two young men on a “Boxer” motorbike with number plate covered with a rag, approached Ahmed Suale’s car and shot at him several times through the glass window on the driver’s side.

*3. The deceased lost control of the steering wheel and bumped into a hair dressing salon directly across the main road. The suspects again rushed on him and fired more shots at him. The suspects disappeared from the scene on their motorbike, making their way into the Ecobank direction towards the Ashaley Botwe area. Relatives of Divela Hussein Ahmed Suale who heard the gunshots rushed to the scene and found him unconscious on the driver’s seat. The deceased was quickly rushed to the Pentecost Alpha Hospital at Madina where he was pronounced dead on arrival by the medical officer they met.

Investigations

*4. Investigations by the police commenced immediately. Two empty shells of 9 x 199mm were found on the ground while three other empty shells and three spent pellets of 9 x 19mm ammunition were also found in the car. An iPhone 7 plus mobile phone and Huawei smart phone belonging to the deceased were also found and retrieved.

*5. On 17th January, 2019, an autopsy was performed on the body of the deceased by Dr. Osei Owusu-Afriyie, a pathologist at the Police Hospital after it was identified by a paternal uncle of the deceased, Ex-WO1 Alhaji Mahama in the presence of the police. The pathologist gave an interim cause of death as (a) hemorrhagic shock (b) severe chest injury and (c) gun shot at close range (un-natural).

*6. The body was subsequently released to the bereaved family for interment.

*7. On 22nd January, 2019, exhibits retrieved from the scene were sent to the Police Forensic Science Laboratory for ballistic examination. In the course of investigations, two key witnesses, namely Asare Bediako aged 28 and Abdul-Rahman Awal, aged 27, were contacted. They gave vivid descriptions of the two suspects. Consequently, a request was made to the Department of Geomatic Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) for the following:

*a. The use of satellite imagery

*b. Sketching of the assailants from a description of the witnesses

*c. Use of telecommunication networks.

*8. Based on the recommendations of the Department of Geomatic Engineering, KNUST, the 2 eye witnesses were presented before the Forensic Artists on 27th January, 2019. After listening and recording the description of the assailants, the Forensic Artists sketched 2 artistic images. The witnesses finally confirmed the sketched images as the perfect resemblance of the assailants.

*9. Upon intelligence, suspects – Edward Gatson Kofi Goka, Musah Iddrisu alias Yaa Pono, Francis Osie Poku alias 666 and Abdul Rashid Meizongo alias Kakalika were arrested for investigation. The 4 suspects were taken through the investigation processes but the eye witnesses could not identify them. The suspects were subsequently granted police enquiry bail and are assisting investigations.

*10. Statements have been taken from three citizens of Ghana who have also denied threatening the deceased or attacking him and Mr. Abdulai Alhassan who also denied threatening the deceased.

Investigations in United States of America

  1. The mobile phones of the deceased were sent to the United States of America for unlocking and extracting of information by Information Technology experts over there. On 17th July, 2020, a request letter to that effect was sent to the US Embassy. On 11th August, 2020, the phones were sent to the US through their American Embassy in Accra.

  2. In February, 2021, the American Regional Security Officer, Bill Peiler, successfully handed over the two iPhone 7 plus Huawei smart phone belonging to the murdered investigative journalist Ahmed Suale together with external drive containing the data extracted from the phones to the investigator.

*13. The huge volumes of data comprising millions of documents, videos, audios, text and Whatsapp messages are being analysed by a team from the Homicide and Cybercrime Units. Investigations on other aspects of the matter also continue. Progress is being made

We are waiting to see some real actions taken to arrest the murderers of Ahmed Suale. The AG’s response to parliament is a sign that something is being done. I hope the data retrieved from his mobile phone will help the security forces to arrest the murderers

Nonsense. Are they looking for his murderers on the mobile phones? What evidence are they searching for? They thought we are kids.

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