‘Colonial’ Document Forgery Case; Police Forensic Submit Report To Court

A Koforidua High Court, presided over by Justice Henry A. Kwofie, on Monday resumed sitting on the case between the Republic versus Nana Anku Dododja Didieye III, Odikro of Abomasarefo, in the Eastern Region.

He has been charged for allegedly forging a colonial document.

Alhaji Bukari Yakubu, a Documents Examiner at the Police Laboratory Investigation Unit, was also brought in by Mr Fredrick Nawurah and Nana Gyankoma Sekyi, State Prosecutors, as a second witness to testify about the authenticity of the said document.

The second witness confirmed to the court that he had conducted two lab tests on the document, based on requests by Nana Didieye and the Police Criminal Investigations Unit.

He said he knew Nana Didieye III a letter and a photocopy of the document, for laboratory testing.

He said the purpose of the test was to find out if Nana Didieye III could have been the author of the two documents, adding that, “because we were close friends, he gave me much pressure to facilitate the testing.”

The witness said when the police criminal instigation unit brought the document and other selected writings of Nana Didieye for examination, he identified many characteristics, which showed that the accused person might have authored the document.

According to Alhaji Yakubu, the test showed that a ball point pen was used to scribble the words in the entire document, adding that, historically, “it is a fact that in 1845 a ball point pen had not been invented.”

He said the ball point pen was invented and was first seen in used in Europe in 1945 and in the 960s in Ghana and so could not be possible that the document could have been written in 1845.

The document examiner disclosed that of all pens, it is only the ball point pen that produces what is called ‘striations’ and that he saw striations in the entire writings in the document.

The witness emphasised that the papers used for the document was not a normal writing paper used by the then colonialists since it was a common brown paper instead of a white one which should have browned naturally.

The court therefore adjourned sitting until May 7, when the counsel for the accused person, Mr Daniel Afari-Yeboah is expected to cross-examine the witness.

The document, titled “Report on Enquiry into Akwamus and Kwahus Land Dispute, 1845”, is said to have been forged by the accused person and that it was not in the National Archives since 1845 as indicated.

According to reports between 1989 and 1990, Nana Didieye had visited the National Archives several times obtaining certain historical documents of the Gold Coast from which he compiled the said document.

It was alleged that he later presented it to the National Archives claiming it was a colonial document prepared by certain Major Cochan of the Gold Coast Regiment.

According to him he found that the document in a horn of an animal at a shrine in Abomasarefo which he thought would be of archival interest.

A portion of the document is alleged to contain a receipt indicating that Abomasarefo and its environs were bought by the accused great-grandfather, Kwaku Dedeayie, alias ‘Bareyo’ from the Akwamus in 1845 for 250 pounds sterling.

The allegation continued that the accused person, Nana Didieye III, later went back to the archives and obtained an authenticated copy of the document, he had presented and petitioned to the Kwahu Traditional Council in 1991 claiming the Abomasarefo land from the Bukuruwa stool.

With the authenticated copy of the document as evidence, Nana Didieye won favour from the Traditional Council, obtained favourable judgment at the Koforidua High Court afterwards and again emerged victorious at the Court of Appeal.

However, being sure as owners of the lands, the Bukuruwa stool felt strongly that the accused person’s claim was strange and fraudulent and therefore mandated one Kwabena Siaw, the complainant, to undertake an independent investigation to ascertain the genuineness of the said 1845 report.

Kwabena Siaw’s investigations seem to be revealing that the document might have been forged and has since reported the case to the police for further investigations.

The document is said to have been tested by the Police Forensic Laboratory and is yet to be presented to the court regarding its authenticity.

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