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14.09.2020 Feature Article

I Have Mixed Feelings About the Benneh Murder

I Have Mixed Feelings About the Benneh Murder
LISTEN SEP 14, 2020

The grisly murder of Prof. Emmanuel Yaw Benneh at his Adjirigano residence, in Accra, eerily and strikingly recalls for me the equally horrific murder of another locally renowned relative of mine, namely, Mr. Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu, in the Shiashie, East-Legon, area of Accra some four or five years ago (See “Police Pick Up Four Persons in Connection with Prof. Benneh’s Suspected Murder” 9/13/20). Still, I am, somewhat, elated that the Accra police have been quick enough to pick up some criminal suspects within just 24 hours of the reported ghastly death of the Senior Law School Lecturer of the country’s flagship academy, namely, the University of Ghana.

In the main, we are informed that the four suspects were all domestic workers of the late Prof. Benneh, whom I strongly suspect may be related to the “original” Professor George Benneh, the famous genius alumnus and Professor of Geography and, I suspect, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Ghana. For such a prominent figure with such a prominent surname, or family name, it is very surprising that very little has, so far, been reported or published by the media. We know, for example, that the brutally slain man was Oxbridge educated. But we have yet to learn why Prof. Benneh appears to have had so many domestic workers at his house.

As well, whether the bestially slain man had been married or had any children. Prof. Benneh’s age, characteristically, was either unknown or undisclosed by the Ghanaweb reporter; so we have absolutely no way of drawing any credible age-related conclusions about the deceased, although some initial reports indicated that it was one of the dead man’s domestic workers who had called some relatives of the deceased to report that he had been trying to contact Prof. Benneh by phone, but to no avail.

This particularly tragic event piques my interest because my own late parents, Prof. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Sr. (1929-2001), and Mrs. Dorothy Tomina (Adwoa Aninwaa/Aniniwaa) Sintim Okoampa-Ahoofe (1934-1998), had both known the Bono-Berekum Bennehs very well. My mother even once told me that they had lived in the same house with the parents of the future Prof. George Benneh sometime in the 1950s, long before yours truly was born, and long before both couple was transferred to Asante-Mampong Presbyterian Middle School, for my father, and the Serwaa-Amaniampong Elementary School, where I would be born several years later. The Benneh patriarch, that is, the father of Prof. George Benneh, my mother once told me, was Manager of the Berekum Presbyterian Book Depot and was fond of giving his children a warm bath every morning before setting them on their way to school. That’s how come the Benneh children came to distinguish themselves for what quite a number of them are known to be today.

Now, I already feel the same déjà-vu chagrin that I felt when we all watched the extant Mahama-appointed Inspector-General of the Ghana Police Service (IGP of GPS), Mr. John Kudalor, perhaps, deliberately and royally bungle investigations into what has been widely claimed to be the Mahama regime’s assassination of Mr. Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu, at the time, the New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Akyem-Abuakwa-North. Indeed, legend even has it that once Commissioner of Police (COP), Dr. George Akuffo-Dampare, the foremost GPS’ sleuth at the, started unraveling the identity of the criminal masterminds behind Mr. Danquah-Adu’s brutal bedroom-stabbing death, the then-President John “Airbus-Kanazoe” Dramani Mahama ordered IGP Kudalor to pull the plug on the entire investigation and also had Dr. Dampare, then the Greater-Accra Regional Commander of the Ghana Police Service, promptly demoted in status, not rank, by the way, by being transferred to the Winneba Police Training Academy, in the Central Region, as Rector of the latter institution. Now, talk of the Akyem Mafia.

And then once the “Akyem-Mafia Capo” had been gotten out of the way, somebody started gaslighting the already confessed prime suspects in Mr. Danquah-Adu’s murder to reconstruct their original stories – which had fingered a Mahama Presidential Staffer – by now claiming that it was New Patriotic Party stalwarts like Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who had contracted the brutal slaying of the fast-rising Akufo-Addo cousin. My one great grievance against this “Akyem Mafia” government, of course, is the deafening failure of the latter to bring the real killers of the grandson of the immortalized Doyen of Gold Coast and Modern Ghanaian Politics to book. Not surprisingly, however, the Mahama Posse are already making it seem as if they had not orchestrated the brutal liquidation of the extant Akyem-Abuakwa-North’s MP.

In their Election 2020 Campaign Manifesto, the very assassins who rubout Mr. Danquah-Adu would have Ghanaians believe that, somehow, they are well poised to bringing the prime suspects behind the Danquah-Adu assassination to book. I bet my bottom-dollar that the Gonja-Frafra Mafia would have more credibility investigating and bringing the masterminds behind the “auspicious” and “providential” assassination of President John Evans Atta-Mills to book. The preceding notwithstanding, the one lingering misgiving that I have about the Benneh murder investigations, is how it eventually fares through Ghana’s wishy-washy judicial system, especially if it is soon discovered that it is the veritable handiwork of some political untouchables.

In the Danquah-Adu slaying case, I am increasingly beginning to suspect that it may very well be the one barbaric incident of deliberately calculated bloodletting that some key operatives of both major parties could very well be guilty of. I really cannot clearly explain why I bizarrely feel this way, except that all I can say is that this is precisely what I deeply feel inside my soul.

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

September 14, 2020

E-mail: [email protected]

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