Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Lest we Forget

Two years ago on 30 June, 1982, three judges of the High Court of Ghana, Mr Justice F. Sarkodie-Addo, Justice Agyepong, Mrs Justice Cecilia Koranteng-Addow and Major Acquah, a retired Army Officer who was the Director of personnel of Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC) were abducted from their homes. Their charred remains were discovered two days later in the most grusome political murder ever committed in Ghana.

All four victims were in one way or the other, connected with decisions deemed to have been part of the process of "reversing the gains of the 4 June revolution" which was a very sore point with and was widely and loudly lamented by the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) when it seized power.

The murdered judges had presided over cases that reversed convictions passed by the AFRC courts and Major Acquah as the Personnel Director of GIHOC had signed the dismissal letters of a group of striking workers led by Mr Amartey Kwei who had not only become a member of the PNDC but one if its leading lights.

The murders shocked the nation and the international community and after the PNDC's initial attempt to put the blame on "enemies of the revolution who want to give the PNDC a bad name," was forced to set up a committee of inquiry into the murders.

The committee's findings led to the arrest and subsequent trial of PNDC member Amartey Kwei, L/Cpl. Johnny Dzandu, Sgt. Amedeka and L/Cpl. Senya. They were found guilty of murder and executed by firing squad on 18 and 31 August except for Sgt. Amedeka who had broken out of jail in the course of the trials. Sgt. Amedeka is still on the run under sentence of death.

The other findings of the Special Investigating Board which indicated that the Special Adviser to the PNDC Captain Kodjo Tsikata was implicated in the conspiracy to murder the four people, was not accepted by the Attorney General Mr Aikins who mounted a spirited defence of the Captain.

The executions were expected to silence the critics and people who were skeptical of the PNDC's protestations of not being involved.

30 June however has entered Ghana's history as the day of the greatest calumny and most cynical officially-inspired political murder.

See also: But the Melody Lingers On

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