Former New Patriotic Party (NPP) General secretary and son of one of the High Court Justices who were abducted from their homes and killed by some soldiers, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong has shared his experience after the incident.
On June 30, 1982, a Wednesday, three of Ghana’s High Court judges— Justices Kwadwo Adjei Agyepong, Poku Sarkodie and Mrs Cecelia Koranteng-Addow, a nursing mother— were killed.
Kwabena Agyepong recalls he was having dinner with his father, the late Justice Kwadwo Adjei Agyepong, around 8 p.m. when his father got a call “luring” him out of the house with the information that Justice Koranteng Addow, one of the Justices, was not well.
As young as 20 years, Kwabena Agyepong recounts that he went to bed hoping his father would return soon to finish his meal.
“In the morning, we got a visit from Mrs Yvonne Sarkodie, one of the Judges. She was there to tell my father her husband had been taken away the previous night. I went to his (Justice Agyepong) bedroom and he (Justice Agyepong) wasn’t there. I went to the dining table and the meal was as it was left.
“I went to my mother’s and she was asleep so I rushed to Justice Adusei (one of the Justices who was a neighbour) who called Justice Akpaloo, the then the Chief Justice.”
All those while it was thought that the three Justices had been kidnapped so the next 72 hours was the most difficult time of his life, he recounted to Nana Aba Anamoah in an interview.
On Sunday, July 4, 1982, Kwabena Agyepong said he went to the stadium to watch a football game to distract himself.
“On my way home I saw a lot of cars around our house and they were beckoning me to come. I didn’t understand so I rushed there and was told the charred bodies of my father and his colleagues had been found.”
He recollected that he spent that night at a friend’s and then stormed the office of the then Minister for Interior who was also Secretary to the then PNDC, the ruling party, Jonnie Hanson, the next morning.
According to the former NPP general secretary, he messed up Hanson’s office.
“The next morning, I exploded a bit, went to the Interior Ministry- Jonnie Hanson, the then PNDC secretary, was the Minister of Interior- crying and asking what happened. He couldn’t give me an answer so I scattered his office.”
He said it took some officers in the Ministry to calm him down.
The truth about who killed the three justices is still a mystery to unravel even though a committee, Special Investigation Board (SIB) headed by former Chief Justice Mr Justice Azu Crabbe, was set up by the late former president Rawlings to probe the incident.
Accra times reports that “In their report, the SIB established that the abduction and murder was a plot hatched with the connivance of members of the PNDC. The SIB also found that the entire plot was master-minded by Capt. Kojo Tsikata, PNDC Member in charge of National Security. However, the PNDC rejected that particular aspect of the report and let Capt. Tsikata and four others off the hook for lack of evidence.”
“The remaining four of the nine suspects were jailed. When on 19 June 1983, there was a jail break at the Nsawam Medium Prisons and the Ussher Fort Prisons, L/Cpl Amedeka (one of the executioners of the Justices) escaped from captivity and has since not been seen. But his three accomplices, Tony Tekpor, Dzandu and Hekli, as well as ex-PNDC Members Amartey Kwei, were executed by firing squad.
“Mr Rawlings has always insisted that before Amartey Kwei was executed, he confessed, at the stakes, to falsely accusing Mr Tsikata of involvement”, Accra Times said.
It is also alleged that the then President Rawlings had a hand in the death of the three but Kwabena Agyepong says “I think both he (Rawlings) and Kojo Tsikata died with the truth. Between the two of them, they know who did it”.
The former NPP secretary stated that “I don’t think Amatey kwei or any of the soldiers did it and they had no connection to my dad and his colleagues. There is no way they would walk to their houses, pick them and go and execute them in such a savage manner. They must have been given some instructions”.
His only hope in unravelling the mystery behind his father’s death will be in the reappearance of Amedika.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini