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General News of Wednesday, 30 December 2020


Top crimes unresolved in 2020

Members of secessionist groups are yet to be prosecuted Members of secessionist groups are yet to be prosecuted

They say the wheels of justice grind slowly, but if you are a crime victim or a relation of a victim seeking justice, then that saying will either seem like an eternity or it will make little to no sense until justice is finally done.
This has been the narrative of some crimes which have remained unsolved and are still under investigation by the country’s security apparatus.

Ghanaweb highlights some criminal cases which have not been solved all year round in 2020.

Murder of Sogakope assemblyman

Residents of Sogakope in the Volta Region were awoken with news of the gruesome murder of assemblyman of the area, Mawutor Adzahli on March 1, this year.

According to reports, the victim and family were attacked by armed robbers who shot and killed him after a scuffle ensued between him and his assailants.

Initial accounts suggested that his death was as a result of a contract killing, but further investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department revealed that his assailants were armed robbers who had gone there to raid his home.

The Police, as well as former President JJ Rawlings, placed bounties on the heads of the assailants to help accost the gang members.

In August, the Police disclosed that they had arrested the alleged ring leader of the killers of Mr Mawutor Adzahli, bringing to a total of seven suspects remanded.

Richard Adikyere, 23, a mason and the leader of the gang; Stephen Adzibolo also known as (aka) Tseko, 29, mechanic; Emmanuel Hedzro, 25, motor rider; Kofi Zotorvi, Christian Zotorvi, 30, farmer; Micheal Sam, 29 and Obed Agornu, 21, are in the custody of the police.

Despite the arrests, the court is yet to pronounce judgment on the killers of the assemblyman.

Murder of Prof Benneh

Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Law Faculty, Professor Emmanuel Yaw Benneh was on the morning of Saturday, September 12, found dead in his Adjiringanor house in Accra under circumstances suspected to be murder.

After intense investigations, four suspects who were initially arrested and charged with murder were discharged by the court after no incriminating evidence was found against them.

The prime suspect, however, a cleaner in the house of the victim later gave a chilling account in court about his involvement in the killing of the law professor.

Weeks after confessing his involvement in the murder of Prof Benneh, lead suspect, James Nana Womba reportedly died at the Police Hospital in Accra following a short ailment on October 19, 2020.

The development has since thrown the investigations into limbo.

Murder of Mfantseman MP

On Friday, October 9, Member of Parliament for the Mfantseman constituency, Ekow Quansah Hayford was shot and killed by armed robbers while he journeyed back after embarking on a political campaign.

The incident happened at dawn on the Abeadze Dominase - Abeadze Duadzi - Mankessim Road in the Central Region.

The Ghana Police Service announced after about a week that they had arrested five suspects in connection to the killing of the lawmaker.

Further manhunt and investigations have led to the arrest of the ringleader of the suspects responsible for the death of Mr Quansah Hayford.

So far, eight persons have been apprehended in connection to the crime.

In a recent development, the prosecutor handling the case revealed that police have begun an examination of forensic evidence gathered at the scene of the crime.

Assault of Nii Lante Vanderpuye

Member of Parliament for the Odododiodio constituency, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye was reportedly assaulted by security operatives on his way to secure bail for a reporter who was working for him.

According to Mr Vandepuye when he arrived at the James Town Police Station, 12 persons from the National Security, some of whom wielded guns approached him and hit him in the chest.

They asked him to leave the area and proceeded to land slaps and punches on his face.

Mr Vanderpuye said it took the intervention of the police to stop the operatives from further assaulting him.

Despite his report, however, no action was taken as we did not see the end of the matter.

Lynching of Madam Akua Denteh

Residents of Mempeasem in the East Gonja Municipality in the Savannah Region were thrown into a state of shock on Thursday, July 23, when a 90-year-old woman was whipped and lynched to death after she was accused of being a witch.

The incident generated a nationwide furore, leading to security agencies mounting a manhunt for persons who were responsible for the murder.

Seven suspects were picked up for their roles in the lynching of the 90-year-old victim identified as Akua Denteh.

In October, hearing and prosecution of the suspects in court failed to come off due to the non-appearance of their counsel. The hearing was duly adjourned but is yet to be concluded.

Western Togoland separatists

Their brazen attacks on state-owned institutions and attempts to declare parts of the Volta Region as an independent state was squarely tackled by security agencies to restore calm and order.

Over 60 persons identified as members of the Western Togoland separatists have since been arrested with prosecution pending while investigations continue.

Hawa Koomson shooting incident

Minister of Special Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson came under scrutiny after admitting to opening fire at her constituency during a voters registration exercise early this year.

The Minister who doubles as Member of Parliament for the Ewutu Senya Constituency reportedly fired a gun in July to ‘protect’ herself.

Despite several calls by CSOs and Ghanaians stakeholders for her to be brought to book for endangering the lives of the citizenry, 5 months down the line, investigations have not given much to write home about.

There were also complaints of colleague MPs on the Minority side of the divide who claimed she was been protected by the incumbent government.

Kumasi Central market fire

Over 70 shops at the Kumasi Central market were razed down when fire gutted the place in the early hours of Sunday, October 18.

The items, worth over 100million Ghana Cedis were destroyed around the Dr Mensah area known as French line.

Although preliminary investigations suggested that the fire was caused by electrical faults, Police noted that they will delve deeper into the matter as the incident was the second in the same area in 3 months.

Kaneshie, Kantamanto market fires

Portions of the Kaneshie market in Accra were gutted under bizarre circumstances with several traders losing properties and means of livelihoods.

The incident formed part of a recent surge in fire outbreaks at market places across the country. Although investigations are ongoing, it remains to be seen what the actual cause of the fires is.