ModernGhana logo
04.05.2004 Tabloid News

Man dies after drinking palmwine laced with DDT

Listen to article

Nkoranza (B/A) May 4, GNA - A 42-year-old farmer died last Wednesday at an Akpeteshie distilling plant at Dimango after drinking palm-wine suspected to have been poisoned with DDT.

One Gyato Dagarti, 48, a friend of the deceased, Nyaaba Azanena who went on the drinking spree with him is on admission at Saint Theresa's hospital in Nkoranza and is responding to treatment.

Superintendent Benjamin Wiafe, officer in-charge of Nkoranza Police Station told Ghana News Agency at his office on Friday that one Kofi Akosah, a 69-year-old farmer and palmwine tapper has been arrested on suspicion of poisoning a drink.

He said the suspect had earlier complained that some people have been stealing palmwine he stores in containers for the distillation of Akpeteshie and decided to punish them. Akosah therefore mixed some palmwine with DDT, kept it in a rubber container and left it at his work place after the day's work and went to his hometown, Ayerede.

Supt. Wiafe said Dagarti and Azanena went to the plant and after helping themselves to the poisoned drink, collapsed on their way back home.

Mr. Kwasi Mumuni, a close friend of the palmwine tapper saw the two men lying by the road, near the distilling plant writhing in pains, so he rushed to Dimango, the nearest community to inform the people about the situation.

The police officer said when some men came to the spot, Azanena was dead but Dagarti could not be traced.

They combed the area but did not see him so as it was getting dark they reported the matter to the police at Nkoranza who rushed there the following and met the deceased lying by the roadside.

The police later found Dagarti lying unconscious inside a hut some 300 metres away from the scene and together with the deceased were conveyed to the hospital.

Supt. Wiafe said a medical report on the post-mortem examination on Azanena confirmed that he died of DDT intoxication.

Akosah has been placed in police custody for further interrogation. The Police Superintendent cautioned palmwine tappers against such "inhuman and criminal practice" on people they suspected to be stealing their drink at their work places.

Barely two years ago, a palmwine tapper from Nkoranza was jailed for 10 years for amputating the right hand of a suspect who stole some of his drink.

Supt Wiafe advised people who steal palmwine from people's farms to stop the practice, saying the practice was common among settler farmers.