Feature: Remembering the callous murder of judges and an army officer …Jerry Rawlings Died With Hands Dripping Of Blood!

“At my age and disposition,” said one British Comedian, “every year without a tombstone is a milestone.” With high blood pressure and an unacceptable sugar level plaguing the body and slowly driving me ‘nearer my God to thee,’ I am on my doctor’s orders  to take it easy, which explains why this column is not regular of late.Officially, I am long retired. But I am not certainly retarded; actively following the political campaign trail.

Sometime last week, I read to my amazement that Naana, the Professor, is claiming that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) initiated the concept of Free SHS. I am still living with the shock.

My instinct told me that the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast might have lost her script. I believe she was referring to the era when classrooms in Ghanawere without chalk.

At that point in time, the woman who is partnering the scandal-soaked ex-President JohnDramaniMahama, on the ticket of the party Jerry Rawlings founded, was once the Minister of Education in this beautiful country, formerly called the Gold Coast.

On Friday, I intend, my health permitting, to do justice to Mrs. Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman’s (un)scholarly pronouncement.

Today, though,it is about visiting the atrocities of the murder of three judges and an army officer to provide a lesson or two for young medical officer,Ms. Zenator Agyeman-Rawlings, who sits in the Legislative House as Member of Parliament for Osu-Klottey.

According to one elderly Ewe man, when loosely translated, Zenator means ‘darkness has stopped’. Apparently, the darkness late Jerry John Rawlings visited on this country through his coup d’etat of June 4, 1979 and December 31, 1981 has never stopped.

Rather, it has worsened with a political party claiming to operate on the basis of his heritage and a daughter claiming that one man’s legacy to the chiefs and people of Ghana could be traced to the blood-letting exploits of one ex-Head of State.

Ms. Zenator Agyeman-Rawlings said not too long ago that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), with which the regime of Gentle Giant John Agyekum Kufour stopped poor patients from being detained at medical centres in Ghana, was initiated and operated by her father. Lies, Lies, Lies!

If Zenator cares about the legacies of her father, she is encouraged to read this article carefully. Space would not allow me to recount all the atrocities.

In this article, I intend to restrict myself to the callous act of abduction and murder of three high court judges and an army officer on the curfew night of June 30, 1982.

On that very grey night, Mrs. Cecilia Koranteng-Addo, a young justice of the High Court and a nursing mother returned home from court, found something to eat, bathed and in her night gown, was breast feeding her baby girl when the door bell rang.

At that time of the night, with curfew subjecting all Ghanaians to confine themselves to bed or be within the confines of their premises, it was sacrilegious for anybody to visit.

Breast-feeding her baby daughter, the woman of the house asked the baby sitter to check who was at the door.

When the girl opened the gate, she was accosted by a young man in northern fugu, who attempted a wrysmile at her and asked her to ask the woman of the house to come down for an important message.

When the baby sitter brought the news, it did not sit well with the young judge and her husband Mr. Koranteng-Addow, the Director of Public Prosecution at the time.

Mrs. Cecilia Koranteng-Addo left the baby she was breast-feeding and went to the door to see what was really happening. As soon as she stepped outside the door, she was bundled into a waiting Fiat Camporee, which drove off at top speed.

Inside the vehicle were other captives- two other high court judges –Justice Poke Sarkodie and Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyekum and Major Samuel Acquahrtd.

Thefour captives were driven at top speed and dastardly murdered at the Bundase military firing range in the Accra plains. The victims’ bodies were doused in petrol and set on fire.

Normally, June and July is the peak of the rainy season in Ghana. But 1982 was a different ball game altogether. Drought came with its attended famine, which devastated the land. Somehow, on the very night that the victims were set ablaze, rain fell heavily only in and around the site where the bodies were set ablaze, quenching the raging fire and exposing the atrocities for all to see.

A shepherd attending his sheep was the first to encounter the atrocities. He quickly reported the carnage to his chief, who alerted the police. When the information got to Accra, police and military officers were dispatched to verify and gather the bodies.

Before the official announcement of the crime, the state information outlet, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, had announced a government statement informing Ghanaians that judges were to be provided with security.

Why that kind of announcement, when judges already had security attached to their assignment, was a major puzzle.Then came the bombshell.

According to an official announcement from the office of the PNDC, enemies of the so-called revolution had abducted three judges and an army officer. When the bodies were found, the Provisional National Defence Council bulletin said, the bodies of the victims had been found at the Accra Plains. It deliberately avoided the mention of the Bundase Military Range. I hope you have already guessed why.

Following persistent pressure from the general public, the PNDC appointed former Chief Justice, Mr. Samuel Azu Crabbe, to investigate the abduction and murder.

The Special Investigation Board (SIB) appointed a top police crime officer, Chief Superintendent of Police Jacob Jebuni Yidana, who led the SIB to discover the identity of the five culprits.

They were led by Lance Corporal Samuel Amedeka, who was on guard duties at the Broadcasting House and Micheal Senya, both serving military officers, together with Johny Djandu and Tonny Tekper, who had been discharged from the army for various disciplinary reasons.

I know it is a taboo topic in a country where the truth is bitter, but I would not hesitate to add that there was a huge tribal dimension to the abduction and murder.

All the four victims were Akans, while all four perpetrators were Ewes. This is a fact universally acknowledged. The linkman was Amartey Kwei, a Ga and member of the PNDC. It was Amartey Kwei who took the murderers round during the day of June 30,1982 to show them where the victims lived.

One significant issue that was clearly on display and could not mask the hands of Jerry Rawlings is that all the murderers, with the exception of Amedeka, who was on guard duties at GBC, lived at the Boys Quarters of the junta head’s Ridge Residence at the time of the incident.

I hope nobody is going to throw any bunkum at me for telling the truth. It is highly unlikely for any rational human being to house a group of people without knowing what they were in the house for.

Unfortunately for Rawlings and his PNDC, the murderers sang like parrots.Under arrest, they told their investigators that they could not believe why they were under arrest for doing their duties to Jerry Rawlings and his PNDC, when their main role was to murder on behalf of their boss and his PNDC.

They owned up to the murder of Yeye Boy, a popular Jujuman in the Volta Region, who was murdered and his body openly displayed at the Ho Sports Stadium in the early days of the December 31 coup d’état.

It was one murder most foul. But the common denominator was that all the four judges were sitting and reversing wrong judgments handed to Ghanaians by Kangaroo courts,during the era of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council misrule.

One of my greatest regrets as a Ghanaian is that men and women endowed with grey matter, still believe in the mayhem visited on Ghanaians, to the extent that they are prepared to lay down their lives for a party Jerry Rawlings signed into existence with his blood.

Hang on, dear reader. Do you know what was visited on Police Officer Yidina for exposing the real Mackoys behind the abduction and murder? He was confined to prison custody for no reason, until the eve of his death.

I dedicate this piece to the memory of late Yidinaand the daughter of late Mrs. Cecelia Koranteng Addo. May the Almighty look upon her well, wherever she may be.

If you ask me why I have problems with that registered political partyborn out of the atrocities of the PNDC, there is your answer. I hope and pray that one day, Zenator, especially, will acknowledge the truth.

I shall return!

Ebo Quansah in Accra


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