The Abrepo Main Branch Manager of Ecobank in Kumasi, Richard Sallah, 39, was callously shot dead by three masked men in the presence of his three young children and wife in his Ahenemma Kokoben New Site residence at dawn yesterday.
The deceased, who is also a pastor of Light House Chapel International in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, was said to be in his study room praying around 2:00 am when the three hoodlums allegedly cut the security wires on the fence wall, jumped into the house, broke the metal window to the room and shot him in the face.
It was not clear whether the masked men were contracted by someone to take away the life of Mr Sallah or whether they were robbers who decided to kill the victim after robbing the family of some items.
The manner in which the incident happened had paved way for people to speculate.
Surprisingly, the three blood-thirsty gangsters allegedly took away a purse belonging to Mr Sallah’s wife containing only GH¢300, a Samsung mobile phone, a laptop and an LCD flat screen television and bolted.
The fear-stricken wife of the deceased man of God managed to drag her blood-soaked husband into a vehicle and drove him to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for medical care, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kofi Boakye, who personally went to the crime scene around 7:00 am to investigate the incident, was met with a wailing widow and family members of the deceased as well as Ecobank staff.
‘We know you will definitely come; please help us to arrest these criminals who have killed my daughter’s husband without any justification. I know you can do it, so please help us,’ mother-inlaw of the assassinated Ecobank manager, amid sobs, told DCOP Kofi Boakye.
The old lady and her daughter (widow) wept bitterly, drawing more curious people from all corners of the serene area to the scene as DCOP Kofi Boakye – who was accompanied by scores of armed policemen tried to console them.
There was blood all over the floors in the study room, veranda, living room and some parts of the compound an indication that the deceased person lost a large amount of blood before he finally gave up the ghost. The police were seen taking pictures and fingerprints to help in their investigation.
Samuel Amoabeng Kontoh, brother-in-law of the murdered bank manager, informed DAILY GUIDE that Mr. Sallah, some few hours before his death, left his wife in the bedroom and entered the study room where he started praying fervently to God, as he usually does during the night.
According to him, the wife said she heard a gunshot so she hurriedly rushed from the bedroom to the study room to find out what was going on, only to find her husband lying in a pool of blood with three masked men standing by him.
Other sources said the three trigger-happy gangsters shouted, ‘Don’t remove the mask! Don’t remove the mask!’ This stern order was immediately followed by a gunshot, apparently fired by the hoodlums.
Amoabeng Kontoh said the three masked men then took away a purse belonging to Mr Sallah’s wife, a Samsung mobile phone, a laptop and an LCD flat screen television, adding that Mr. Sallah gave up the ghost after his wife had rushed him to KATH for treatment.
DCOP Kofi Boakye, who earlier this week mentioned Ahenemma Kokoben and Atasemanso as some of the robbery prone areas in Kumasi during a press conference, described the killing of the Ecobank manager as unfortunate and very sad while expressing his condolences to the bereaved family.
He promised that the police would do all they could to arrest the perpetrators of the heinous crime as soon as possible. He stressed that the police in the region were still in firm control of the security situation, adding that that isolated case (the killing of Sallah) would not deter them.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander promised that the police would pay a staggering GH¢5,000 to any person that would provide valuable information that would lead to the arrest of the three masked men and urged the public to help the police in that regard.
DCOP Kofi Boakye charged landlords and opinion leaders at Ahenemma Kokoben to immediately form watchdog committees to assist the police to guard the area and prevent criminals from operating.
Considering the manner in which the three masked men entered the house and committed the dastardly crime, he said he suspected that some people in the neighbourhood might have played key roles in the operation, reiterating his assurance that the police would definitely apprehend the culprits to face the law.
‘They can run but they can’t hide,’ DCOP Kofi Boakye, with a stern face, stated categorically. He cautioned that the police had just started investigations into the disturbing incident and so the media should not jump into conclusions.
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