Story: Albert K. Salia in Accra, Kwame Asare Boadu in Kumasi
FROM the Tantra Hills and Gbawe, both in Accra, to the Parakou Estates in Kumasi, a treble of tragic events have claimed four lives and shattered the dreams of some families to end 2009 in peace.
The catalogue of horrors includes the misfortune of a 26-year-old man of God, Reverend Peter Nii Addy, who had travelled all the way from Enchi in the Western Region to attend a colleague’s wedding in Accra, only to be robbed and killed by armed robbers.
It also includes a suspected case of suicide involving a 20-year-old Indian woman in Kumasi and the burning to death of two young sisters in Accra.
Although the pastor’s killers are on the run, the sad story of the two sisters who were left asleep in a candle-lit kiosk at Tantra Hill in Accra and got burnt to death as a result has landed their 26-year-old mother in police custody.
Jessica Gyamfuah Darkwah, three, and her younger sister, Edna Yeboaa Darkwah, two and a half, were asleep in the kiosk near the Champion Divine Clinic at Tantra Hill about 10.30 p.m. on Tuesday when their mother locked it up, allegedly to visit her boyfriend.
The mother, Rosina Botwe, 26, returned at dawn to discover that in her absence the kiosk had caught fire and burnt the children to death.
Rosina, who is currently being held by the Mile Seven Police, told the Daily Graphic that she left the lighted candle so that the children would not cry when they woke up in the dark.
She said some friends called her when the kiosk was on fire but she said she thought they were only trying to get her out of her boyfriend’s room.
According to her, her friends were not in favour of her new relationship which she entered into after her children’s father was jailed in May this year for fraud.
The sobbing Rosina said she was shocked when she got back and found the mess.
The Mile 7 District Police Commander, ASP Alice Gyamfi, said the police were holding her for negligence and manslaughter.
The bodies of the two children have been deposited at the Police Hospital Mortuary for autopsy.
In the Gbawe incident, armed robbers attacked the residence of Rev Frederick Adu Acheampong, the Founder of the Frontline Glory Chapel, at dawn yesterday, robbed the household of money and valuables and killed Rev Addy, a pastor of the Lighthouse Chapel, who was also in the house.
Rev Addy, 26, who was the pastor in charge of the Enchi branch of the Lighthouse Chapel, was in Accra with his wife, who is six months pregnant, to attend the wedding of a colleague pastor of the Lighthouse Chapel, Bishop E. A. T. Sackey, and they were due to return to their base in the Western Region yesterday when he met his brutal death at the hands of the robbers.
Narrating the incident to the Daily Graphic, Rev Acheampong, who played host to Rev Addy and his wife, Lily, said he left the couple to pray in the main compound of his house about 12:45 a.m.
He said less than 15 minutes into the prayers, three youngmen, one of whom was in a mask, entered the compound.
According to him, all the three men carried guns, with one of them having a crowbar in addition, and they marched him (Rev Acheampong) into the hall of the house.
Rev Acheampong said Rev Addy was asleep in the hall, while his wife, Lily, was watching a religious movie.
He said two of the robbers took him (Acheampong) to his bedroom where they collected his wife’s jewellery, including their wedding rings, watches and some money.
He said the other robber took Mrs Addy to their room where he took her wedding ring and GH¢40 and returned to the hall to march Rev Addy to the bedroom to collect more money.
Rev Acheampong said he overheard Rev Addy say there was no more money in the room and the next thing he heard was a gunshot.
According to him, when the two robbers sent him and his wife back to the hall, he (Acheampong) saw Mrs Addy lean on his husband and sob.
He said the robbers immediately took two laptops, one belonging to the deceased, and a desktop computer and went out.
He said unknown to them, there was a fourth robber who was keeping guard outside and who shouted at them to come out since the vehicle had come to take them away.
Rev Acheampong said he rushed to pick Pastor Addy when the robbers released him and realised that Pastor Addy had been shot in the upper abdomen and was bleeding profusely.
He said he immediately arranged to take him to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
The Odorkor District Crime Officer, DSP Baffour Apenteng, who also confirmed the incident to the Daily Graphic, said the armed robbers had earlier snatched a KIA taxi with registration number GS 4838-09 which they used for the robbery.
He said after attacking the residence of the pastor, the robbers also attacked the residence of Alhaji Seidu, a businessman and took away seven mobile phones, three DVD players and GH¢360 without any casualty.
He said investigations were underway and appealed to members of the public to assist the police in bringing the perpetrators to book.
In Kumasi, a 20-year-old Indian woman, who joined her husband in Ghana barely a month ago, is reported to have blown off her head with the husband’s gun at their Parakuo Estate home.
The deceased, Soumya Markkur, allegedly committed the act by blowing off her head with a gun belonging to her husband, who was out at work, resulting in her instant death.
The incident occurred last Monday, December 28, 2009.
Her husband, Mr Kishan Anchen, an Indian businessman, is helping the police in their investigations into the case.
The police are yet to disclose further details of the incident, saying it was too early to do so.
They said, however, that no suicide note was left, and they were yet to establish any preliminary cause of the death of the woman.
However, sources at the Parakuo Estate, where the couple lived told the Daily Graphic that the woman had been embroiled in some marital problems with the husband since she arrived from India.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr Frank Abrokwah, commander of the Kumasi Central Police, said the couple who had no issue had been married for about a year, but the woman lived in India while the man lived and worked in Kumasi.
According to the District Commander, at about 2 p.m. on December 28, 2009, his outfit had information that an Indian woman had committed suicide in her matrimonial home.
He said a team that was dispatched to the house saw the woman dead in a pool of blood in the bedroom with the pistol besides the remains.
Mr Abrokwah said the widower claimed he left home for work at Asokwa in Kumasi at about 7.30 a.m. that day when her wife was still in bed.
Mr Kishen was said to have returned to the house at about 11.30 a.m. only to find the door to their bedroom locked.
According to Mr Abrokwah, the man claimed to have repeatedly knocked the door, but there was no response.
Mr Kishen then called some security personnel at the main gate to the house to help him force the door open and to his surprise he found her wife in a pool of blood with the gun besides her.
Mr Abrokwah stated that police also found a spent shell in the room.
The police, he said, had taken custody of the pistol while the remains of the woman had been placed in the morgue at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital pending further investigations.