General News of Sunday, 7 October 2018
Immediate past General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong says the families of the men executed for the murder of three judges and a retired army officer in 1983 need help.
According to him, the families of Joachim Amartey Kwei, Samuel Michael Senyah, Johnny Dzandu and Tony Tekpor are going through similar pains as the families of the judges and ex-soldier, as such, they should be given some attention.
Rev. Opuni-Frimpong is disappointed the families and friends of the four men were not featured in the JoyNews documentary which sought to shed some light on the unfortunate incident which occurred some 36 years ago, ‘Who Killed the Judges’.
“Whether they did it on their own or they were tasked to do it innocently, now their families as well are going through pain and nobody is talking about them, young people who were shot and killed. Look at the documentary, nobody is going to their home,” he lamented.
Rev. Opuni noted the spirit of Ghana has several wounds and the murder of the judges is just one of such wounds.
“Some of them said ‘we were tasked to do this job and we thought we were serving the national interest’…we must know that the wounds we are talking about is not even the wounds that the three judges and the military officer’s people can identify but the wounds that the perpetrators, their families and siblings and people who are in their good books are also [dealing with].”
“Families and where the perpetrators are coming from, they need help, we should not push them aside,” he stressed.
Joachim Amartey Kwei, Samuel Michael Senyah, Johnny Dzandu and Tony Tekpor were sentenced to death by firing squad in 1983 after a Public Tribunal found them guilty for the abduction and murder of three judges and a retired army officer.
Justices Fred Poku Sarkodee, Cecilia Koranteng-Addow and Kwadwo Agyei Agyepong, as well as Major Sam Acquah were abducted from their homes on June 30, 1982 during the curfew hours.
Their partly burnt bodies were found on July 3, 1982 in a state of decomposition at the Bundase Military Range on the Accra Plains. The bodies had been doused with petrol and set on fire but by divine intervention, raindrops that night quenched the burning bodies before they were discovered.
The defunct Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), headed by Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, which publicly expressed horror at the crime and yielded to strong public pressure, set up a Special Investigation Board (SIB) with a former Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Samuel Azu Crabbe, as chairman, to investigate the murders.
The inquiry is noted for the courage and professional expertise of its main investigator, J.J. Yidana, an officer of the Ghana Police Service. The SIB submitted its report and was published along with a Government White Paper.
The SIB made a number of findings, leading to the prosecution of Joachim Amartey Kwei, a member of the PNDC; L/Cpls Samuel Amedeka; Samuel Michael Senyah; Johnny Dzandu and Tony Tekpor, who are ex-soldiers.
Before they were found guilty and sentenced, however, L/Cpl Samuel Amedeka was able to break jail and leave the country.