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06.06.2007 Crime & Punishment

Man Kills In-Laws & Commits Suicide

Man Kills In-Laws & Commits Suicide

A sex-starved father of four is said to have gone berserk and gunned down his father-in-law and his brother-in-law and taken his own life in a horrendous story at Akyem Achiase near Oda.

Neighbours of the couple said the 46-year-old farmer and palm wine tapper, Yaw Awuakye Tunsuo, had claimed before the action that his father-in-law, 56-year-old Opanin Kofi Baah, and his brother-in-law, Samuel Baah, 31, had failed to persuade his wife, Madam Leticia Fosuaa, out of her decision not to have intimacy with him because she did not want to have any more children.

The couple have five children, four of whom are alive. The oldest is 20, while the last born is four years old.

Briefing the Daily Graphic at Achiase yesterday, the Akyem Swedru District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Paul Aduhene, said at dawn last Monday, residents of the house in which Awuakye was staying heard a gunshot in his bedroom.

He said when the neighbours went to the scene, they realised that the man had blown off his head with a single-barrelled gun while sitting in a sofa.

According to DSP Aduhene, the people rushed to the police station and reported the matter, after which the police went there to begin investigations.

He said in the morning, the unsuspecting neighbours sent messengers to go and inform the deceased's father-in-law, Opanin Baah, and his brother-in-law, Samuel, at Kyereso cottage, a distance of about 12 kilometres from Achiase, where the three deceased persons had been tapping palm wine to distil akpeteshie.

DSP Aduhene said when the messengers reached the cottage, they discovered, to their disgust, maggot-infested and bullet-riddled bodies of the two men lying at different locations at the cottage.

He said the messengers went back to Achiase to report what they had seen to the police, who went there on Tuesday to conduct further investigations and also conveyed the decomposing bodies to the Oda Government Hospital for post-mortem examination.

DSP Aduhene stated that while the police were interrogating Awuakye's wife, Madam Fosuaa, also known as Adwoa Fosuaa, 41, as to whether there had been any problem between them before her husband committed suicide, the woman, who did not know that her husband was dead, suddenly collapsed. She was rushed to the Achiase Health Centre where she was revived and sent to the Oda Government Hospital and admitted until yesterday.

He said Fosuaa learnt that her father and her younger brother had also been murdered after she had been discharged from the hospital.

Meanwhile, the police have retrieved the single-barrelled gun which Awuakye used to kill himself and the two other men.

DSP Aduhene said police investigations revealed that although the couple had been married for the past 22 years, for some time now Fosuaa had refused to put up with the husband in his bedroom and was instead taking refuge in her father's house because she did not want to have any more children. But Awuakye disagreed with that decision and bore her a grudge thereafter.

He said Awuakye decided to murder the two men on Saturday evening so that nobody would know that he had committed the offence, since all the farmers in the area had returned home by then and nobody went to farm in the area the following day, which was a Sunday.

According to the District Commander, after murdering his father-in-law and his brother-in-law, Awuakye approached his wife to convince her to put up with him in his bedroom that night, promising her a precious parcel, but the woman, did not yield to his request.

When the Daily Graphic contacted Madam Fosuaa for her version in her father's house where the funeral of her father and her brother was being performed, the woman, who had earlier given her statement to the police, said the relation between her and her late husband had been excellent but said she did not sleep with him that night because it had rained and she had no umbrella to enable her to go to her husband's house.

All the three bodies were sent from the hospital to the cemetery for burial, in accordance with Akan custom which requires that the bodies of people who die through unnatural causes should not lie in state.

Fosuaa is assisting the police in their investigations.

Story by Samuel Kyei-Boateng