Horror In Accra: Church Landguard Butchered

The butchered landguard with his decapitated armTwo persons lost their lives following sporadic firing of firearms by persons suspected to be landguards, who descended on the Avenor suburb of Accra yesterday morning.

The suspected landguards were said to have been engaged by the Word Miracle Church International to forcefully eject encroachers on their piece of land.

Shattered glasses, clubs, burnt bus, spent ammunitions and other dangerous implements were scattered at the scene of the confrontation, leading to the death of the two persons, including a landguard.

Judgment was said to have been given in favour of the Church for the removal of the encroachers and last Friday, the court order was carried out with police protection.

However, a busload of the suspected landguards stormed the place early yesterday morning amidst indiscriminate firing of gunshots, wounding some residents in the process.

In the course of the melee, one of the landguards fell, his hand was chopped off and he eventually died after receiving severe beating from residents who launched counter attack, pursuing some of the landguards.

The deceased was mowed down in front of the Accra West Regional office of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), at Avenor, while he was running away after the residents overpowered the rampaging landguards.

His severed hand was taken away before the police retrieved it.

The identity of the other dead person was yet to be confirmed as some eyewitnesses claimed that he was a passerby, while others said he was a resident. He was said to have died at the hospital.

The remains of the landguard lay at the Avenor ECG office for a while until it was carried away later by the Police upon the arrival of the Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Rose Bio Atinga, who responded to the crisis with alacrity. The police also retrieved spent cartridges at the scene of the incident.

Matters came to a head when the residents of Avenor reacted to the assault of the invaders, especially following injuries sustained by some of their colleagues.

Twenty-three suspects, including 17 of the suspected landguards, have been arrested by the Police to help in investigations in the case.

An eyewitness, a certain Amadu Adamu, told DAILY GUIDE that at about 7.00am yesterday, a group of men occupying five vehicles including a Mercedes Benz 207 bus with registration no.

GT4034W, a taxi and a Nissan Pathfinder, led by one Emmanuel Tei, stormed the area with firearms and machetes.

Continuing, he said they started firing at the encroachers, some of whom fought back, and in the ensuing clash, one of the landguards was killed.

The aggrieved encroachers then set the Benz bus ablaze.

Several persons were said to have sustained cutlass and gunshot wounds and were rushed to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital whilst the dead were deposited at the Police Hospital.

DAILY GUIDE gathered also that the land in question is at the centre of litigation between the Word Miracle Church and another organization.

“The church claims the property belongs to them and that they have registered documents covering the land whilst the other faction, hinted as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement, is also claiming it,” said Superintendent Sylvester Bawiise Boyuo, the Accra Regional Operations Commander.

Describing the development as unfortunate, he said the Word Miracle Church International last Friday sought the assistance of the Police to supervise the demolition of the structures following the court ruling.

“This morning, we had information that some landguards have attacked the encroachers and one person was killed so we rushed to the area only to realize that the people hired by the church to clear the area for work to commence were known landguards by the police,” he said, adding that investigations into the matter had commenced.

By Linda Tenyah