The police in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions have made a breakthrough in their investigations and arrested the suspected murderers of Mr Samuel Ennin, the late Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), and Mr Anthony Yeboah-Boateng, the Administrator of the Goaso Government Hospital.
While the Goaso Divisional Police Command in Brong Ahafo said it had arrested 16 people for their alleged involvement in the mob action which led to the lynching of Mr Yeboah-Boateng, who was also the Presiding Member (PM) of the Asunafo North District Assembly, the Ashanti Regional Police said it had arrested two persons believed to be responsible for the murder of Ennin, who was also the News Editor of Ashh FM in Kumasi.
Those arrested in connection with Ennin's murder are Kwame Ayew, alias Red, and Sheriff Kabore, both 27.
Ayew was arrested at Gbilenga, near Sandema in the Upper East Region, on February 20, 2007, while Kabore was picked up in Kumasi while he was on board a Tamale-bound vehicle on March 29, this year.
The police, attributed Ennin's murder to robbery and nothing else.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Frank Adu-Poku, who briefed a crowded news conference in Kumasi yesterday, said, “As of now we do not have loopholes in our investigations because everything points to the two suspects as the men behind the murder.”
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander said on his arrest, Ayew claimed he knew nothing about Ennin's death, although he admitted having taken part in some robberies in Kumasi, and asked the police to look for Sheriff on the murder.
Mr Adu-Poku said on the arrest of Sheriff, he also told the police that he had no knowledge about Ennin's death, even though he admitted he knew Ayew.
The Regional Police Commander stated that the other victims of the February 9, 2007 incident, which claimed the life of Ennin, had already identified Ayew and Sheriff as the men who attacked them.
"This arrest is a birthday present to me and I commend my men for their effort, especially as they had to travel all the way to Sandema in a passenger vehicle to effect Ayew's arrest,” Mr Adu-Poku said.
Ayew is currently serving a 21-year jail term for another robbery which was committed after Ennin's murder.
When he was arrested at Sandema in February and brought to Kumasi, it was realised that he had committed another robbery for which he was arraigned and jailed.
Sheriff, on the other hand, was arraigned before the Kumasi Circuit Court on April 4, 2007 on a preliminary charge of robbery and remanded in prison custody to re-appear on April 27, 2007.
In the night of February 9, 2007, Ennin and others were drinking at the Liberal Spot in Kumasi when two men driving a white VW saloon car, with registration number AS 5598 W, arrived at the spot and started firing indiscriminately.
The robbers collected mobile phones from the victims and the gunshots they fired hit Ennin in the neck and his mid- section, leading to his death.
The white VW saloon car was found to be the one the Daily Graphic had reported shortly after the incident as being the vehicle suspected to have been used by the robbers.
On February 20, 2007, upon a tip-off, Ayew was arrested at Sandema and two pump action guns and other offensive weapons were found on him.
During investigations, Mr Adu-Poku said, Ayew admitted taking part in other robberies but not the killing of Ennin and, therefore, asked the police to look for Sheriff in connection with Ennin's murder.
Ayew led the police to Sheriff's residence at Kumasi Zongo but he could not be arrested until March 29, 2007 when he was picked up in the Tamale-bound vehicle.
The 16 suspects arrested by the Goaso Police were said to be among those who fled Atronie after the enraged youth lynched Mr Yeboah-Boateng last Sunday night.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Asunafo North, Alhaji Ishak Abubakar Bonsu, confirmed in a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic from Sunyani that “the Divisional Commander at Goaso just telephoned me that 16 people from Atronie had been arrested in various hideouts in the Goaso area this morning after fleeing Atronie last Sunday night”.
The DCE could, however, not disclose the identities of those arrested but said all of them were men in their youthful years.
“It is a step in the investigations by the security personnel into the gruesome murder,” he said.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) in charge of the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Command, Mr Kofi Ayesu Opare-Addo, had earlier told the Daily Graphic that the policemen dispatched to the town after the incident had been withdrawn “because their security could not be guaranteed”.
Meanwhile, yesterday tension was mounting at Goaso where the late Mr Yeboah-Boateng hailed from.
Angry youths were mobilising themselves into a truck to avenge the murder of the young administrator who was seen by many of them as a role model.
The DCE confirmed that yesterday morning the youth travelled the about 60-kilometre distance from Goaso to Atronie in a truck to attack the people of the area in retaliation.
“I saw everything myself and I had to rush to Sunyani to inform the regional minister,” Alhaji Bonsu said.
He said the Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council (REGSEC) had dispatched security personnel to the area to stop the enraged youth from Goaso from carrying out their mission.
Meanwhile, sources close to the Brong Ahafo Regional Police command said the 16 suspects would be arraigned in Sunyani today.
Last Easter Sunday, Mr Yeboah-Boateng was murdered in cold blood by a group of young men on suspicion that he was part of a gang involved in alleged serial murders in the area.
Until his death, Mr Yeboah-Boateng, 38, was also the Presiding Member of the Asunafo North District Assembly and Vice-President of the Cathedral Church Council of the Goaso Diocese.