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16.12.2002 Regional News

Deputy Speaker's Father Digs Up Sister's Grave

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Tefle township in the Volta Region is in a state of panic and fear following a revelation that the corpse of a certain Madam Dora Dzirasah which was buried on June 9, 2001 has been exhumed and burnt. At the time of filing this story, the ashes of the burnt body, which is suspected to have been exhumed on November 30, had not been found.

At the centre of the drama are three persons, namely, Mr. Adolf Dzirasah, father of Hon. Ken Dzirasah, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Togbui Aglanu and one Akpaligah, a juju man.

When the ‘Idependent’ paper reached Hon. Ken Dzirasah on the phone last Friday, he confirmed the story but complained that there is an attempt to destroy his reputation and political career. Information available to the paper has it that the local Police arrested the three persons who have since been bailed by Hon. Ken Dzirasah. Akpaligah has told the Police that he exhumes bodies and was paid by Mr. Adolf Dzirasah to exhume that of the late Madam Dora Dzirasah, who was his (Adolf’s) sister. Mr. Adolf Dzirasah is reported to have told the Police that he consulted a soothsayer who told him that the deceased was a witch and the cause of his woes, hence the need to burn her corpse. The Independent was informed that Mr. Adolf Dzirasah had not been on talking terms with the deceased for the past 20 years. Mr Adolf Dzirasah is also reported to have told the Police that the soothsayer he consulted told him that the deceased disclosed that if her body was not exhumed and burnt with seven live frogs, seven live cockroaches, seven lorry tyres, special firewood and other strange animals, her ghost will kill all his male sons including Hon Ken Dzirasah.

Based on this, the paper’s sources say, Mr. Adolf Dzirasah got some others, numbering six and went to the grave of the deceased at midnight to exhume the body. Mr. Adolf Dzirasah, our sources revealed has however declined to mention the names of the other three persons who went with him to exhume the corpse. He is said to have taken the Police to Agbakope, a village near Tefle to show the spot here the corpse was burnt, but no traces of a burnt corpse were seen. Upon persistent grilling by the Police, he is said to have revealed that they dug a big hole and burnt the body in the hole, thus prompting the Police to lock him up with his two accomplices. The Independent learnt that Hon. Dzirasah bailed his father and the two others on December 2. A fact he confirmed to this paper last Friday.

Hon Dzirasah told the paper that it is normal custom in the tefle area and other parts of the Volta Region for herself-confessed witches to be burnt. This paper was informed that at least two deceased females were burnt under such circumstances in the Tefle area last year. Hon Dzirasah disclosed that the whole affair has its roots in a chieftaincy problem but regretted that some persons are trying to use the case to malign him. “A lot of things are happening. Some of the grandchildren of the deceased think I am even involved. I went to a funeral last Saturday and some of the deceased’s grandchildren attempted to assault me,” the Second Deputy Speaker said. He disclosed that he is aware that family heads are working around the clock to solve the problem. Hon. Dzirasah again disclosed that he knows nothing about the exhumation of the corpse and condemned attempts by some persons to link him to the incident.

When the paper reached Mrs. Mawusi Awity, eldest granddaughter of the late Mrs. Dora Dzirasah last Friday after painstaking efforts, she challenged Hon. Dzirasah’s assertion that burning of the corpses of self-confessed witches is customary in the Volta Region. “My grandmother never confessed to being a witch whilst she was alive, so how can her ghost do so? In any case, granted that it was her ghost that made the confession, why did Hon. Dzirasah’s father (my grand uncle) not seek authority and clearance before exhuming the corpse? They rather exhumed the corpse at midnight” Mrs. Awity said. She disclosed that Hon Dzirasah’s father is not coming up with the whole truth in the matter. He told the Police that the corpse was exhumed at midnight so he cannot identify the three other persons who helped in the exhumation.

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