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13.11.2007 General News

Please kill me, my crime is grievous - suspect

Please kill me, my crime is grievous - suspect

The 35-year-old palm Wine tapper who is alleged to have butchered his one-year-old son and severely disfigured other members of his family pleaded to be executed when he was captured at the crime village over the weekend.

Kwabena Azumah is alleged to have murdered his one-year-old son, severed the right hand of another, inflicted deep machete wounds on his wife and another child at Akotikrom near Akyem Swedru in the Birim South District of the Eastern Region.

Azumah, a Togolese ex-convict who returned from the Obuasi Prison about three years ago for stealing a sheep, was arrested by a combined team of the Apoli community police and the youth of the village last Saturday night when he sought refuge with the Togolese settlers there.

The suspect, who looked dejected, Monday told the Akyem Swedru District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Paul Aduhene, at the Akyem Swedru police cells, in the presence of newsmen, "Papa Police, my offence is so grievous that I should be killed, instead of being tried in the law court and jailed."

The District Police Commander, however, retorted, "We cannot kill you; if you want to die, you should have committed suicide when you fled into the bush."

Throwing more light on how Azumah was apprehended, DSP Aduhene said after he had butchered his one year-old son, Kwabena Agyei, severed the right hand of another son, Nana Yaw Junior, 5, wounded a third son, Nana Yaw Ohene, 5, and his wife, Madam Akosua Apiaduaa, 28, on November 7, this year, Azumah fled into the bush to escape arrest.

The three injured persons have been admitted at the Oda Government Hospital in critical condition, while the body of Agyei has been deposited at the mortuary of the same hospital awaiting autopsy.

According to DSP Aduhene, in the afternoon of Saturday, November 10, this year, Azumah travelled on foot through the bush from Akotikrom to a hamlet near Apoli, a distance of about eight kilometres, to stay with the Togolese community at the place who had not heard about the incident.

He said in the evening of that day, somebody hinted the people that Azumah was being sought for murder so they sent for the community police personnel and some of the youth at Apoli to effect his arrest.

DSP Aduhene stated that the volunteers had it pretty tough capturing the suspect between 7.00 and 8.00 p.m. that evening, to the extent that he bit some of them several times.

He said when they kept Azumah in a room at the Apoli palace while waiting for the Akyem Swedru Police who had been informed to convey him to the police station, he was able to remove the iron bars and the wedge from the window, jumped through it and escaped.

According to DSP Aduhene, the people at the palace had to run as fast as their legs could carry them in pursuit to recapture him.

He said Azumah, who was, behaving as if he was possessed, had to be tied in the hands and legs and his 'powerful' ring removed before they could put him into a hired Nissan mini bus and sent to the Akyem Swedru Police Station. But he still managed to break the vehicle's windscreen on the way.

According to the District Police Commander, if the police had not met the people on the way and transferred the suspect into their Land Rover, a different thing might have happened on the way.

Telling his own story to the Daily Graphic at the Akyem Swedru Police Station, Azumah said about five years ago he and his wife needed another child but all their efforts proved futile so they contacted a Mallam at Oda, on the advice of his wife, and he helped them to get Nana Yaw Ohene, who is now five.

He said for some time now Ohene had not been well so on November 7, this year, they contacted the same Mallam to treat him.

Azumah said the Mallam gave them herbs for the entire family to have purification baths to drive away the evil spirits tormenting them.
He stated that on reaching home that evening, he decided to take the bath first around 6.00 p.m. before the others could do so.

Azumah said since he had his own juju, no sooner had he completed the purification bath than the two deities struggled within his body.

According to him, he could not see whatever he did until he realised that his shirt was soaked with blood and he was roaming aimlessly in the bush.

According to him, if he had money, he would have escaped to his home town, Galave in Togo, to avoid being arrested and imprisoned.

At the police station, drama unfolded when Azumah saw his first son, Obeng Bella, also known as Kwame Doctor, for the first time since the incident happened. When he asked Obeng where his mother was, the boy replied that she was on admission at the Oda Government Hospital as a result of the deep machete wounds he (Azumah) had inflicted on her.

To another question as to the whereabouts of his herbs, Obeng said his grandmother had thrown them away because they were the cause of the murder.

Meanwhile, the Akyem Swedru Police will soon arraign Azumah.

Source: Daily Graphic