THE police in Goaso are holding four people, including a cocoa purchasing clerk, over a case in which the headless body of a middle-aged farm labourer was found on a cocoa farm at Sakyikrom, near Asumura in the Asunafo North municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The four, who are suspected to have murdered Yaw Peter in what appears a ritual murder, are Jacob Atia, alias Paa Kojo, the purchasing clerk of a private cocoa buying company; Dery Donkor, alias Bula; Kofi Nsiah and Kwame Ketewa.
The police have mounted a search to retrieve the severed head of the deceased, which was said to have been sold for GH¢20,000 to a buyer in a village near Mim.
The incident sent shock waves through the area, as the deceased was said to have gone to the farm on that fateful day with the suspects for a group farming activity known in Akan as “nnoboa”.
The Goaso Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent Twumasi Ankrah, told the Daily Graphic that one of the suspects, Dery, had admitted taking part in the heinous crime and had, indeed, mentioned Atia as the one who masterminded the crime.
Dery allegedly told police investigators that the purchasing clerk, who hatched the plot, claimed he had someone who would buy the head for GH¢10,000, while Nsiah also claimed he had someone who was ready to offer GH¢20,000 for the head.
Consequently, just after Peter had been killed, his severed head was given to Nsiah, who sent it to Nsuta, a village near Mim, for sale.
Giving further details, Supt Ankrah said the deceased lived in a cottage near Sakyikrom with his wife.
On May 11, 2010, he joined the suspects for the “nnoboa” activity on a farm but did not return. His wife, unable to establish what had happened to the husband, rushed to Sakyikrom in search of him.
Members of the community organised a search party in the night but Peter could not be found.
On May 14, 2010, a farmer in the area went to his cocoa farm where he was met by an offensive odour and flies from a distance.
Curiosity drove him to the spot where he found Peter’s remains covered with cocoa leaves, with the head missing.
He consequently informed the Unit Committee of the area, which followed it up with a report to the police.