Editorial: Let’s Be Bold On Judges’ Murder Issue
A wreath laying ceremony was on Monday held at the forecourt of the Supreme Court in memory of the three High Court Judges and a retired Army Officer.
They included Mr. Justice Kwadjo Agyei Agyepong, Mr. Justice Frederick Sarkodie, Mrs. Justice Cecilia Koranteng Addo and Major Sam Acquah.
All of them were abducted, murdered and their bodies set ablaze at the Bundase Military Range on the Accra Plains on June 30, 1982.
During the ceremony – which had Mr. William Blair, a distinguished British lawyer of international repute and brother of British Prime Minister, Tony Blair as the guest of honour in attendance – the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice George Kingsley Acquah, described the abduction and gruesome murder as “an unprecedented act of savagery”.
According to him, “it was an act no sane person would contrive to commit. And no doubt the precious blood of these innocent citizens will forever haunt these vicious perpetrators”. He added that no vengeance was being sought since it (vengeance) was of God.
This heinous act, which was carried out during the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) regime headed by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings – Ghana's immediate past President – was condemned by all right-thinking persons and groups both nationally and internationally.
Twenty three good years after this dastardly act, nothing has specifically been done about who really committed that crime.
This paper has on many occasions carried stories concerning this matter. It had referred to the Police Situation Report and events that preceded and followed the murders.
It made reference to the keys to the Fiat Campaola – the vehicle that was allegedly used for the abduction – as having been collected from the dining table of “the Rawlingses”, the pretentious speech of Flt. Lt. Rawlings, who accused the “enemies of the nation” of perpetrating the crime and the fact that Mr. Amartey Kwei was only used as a scapegoat.
We also indicated that Sgt. Amedeka who was said to have been connected with the assassination, was closely in touch with Mr. Rawlings. No effort was made by the (P)NDC regimes to seek Interpol help to apprehend Amedeka all the 19 years they held power in the country.
Many calls have been made for the institution of an independent commission of enquiry into the murders since 1992 but nothing concrete has happened – The National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) tried to delve into the matter somehow. However, it was not emphatic on whoever might have master-minded the crime even though fingers were pointed in the direction of Mr. Rawlings.
We agree with Justice Kingsley Acquah that vengeance is of God. However, this does not give anybody the licence to take the law into his/her own hands.
The perpetrators of such a first degree felony crime must be brought to book for the law to take its cause so as to forestall a reoccurrence of it. This is no witch-hunting.
In any case, when there is no witch there will not be any hunting. We reiterate the call that an independent inquiry be instituted into the matter and those involved mentioned for the world to hear. Nothing is too late under the sun.
Or are they untouchable?