13 March 2006

Ghana: Konkomba, Nawuri Flex Muscles Over Murder Trial Delay

TENSION IS brewing at the war prone area of Kpandai, in the Northern Region and its environs, between the Konkombas and the native, Nawuris following the murder of two Nawuris on their farms on May 22, 2005.

Rumours are rife alleging a Konkomba as the murder suspect as the victims, Akitaye Ankibam Atorsah and Anebo Anane Atorsah had had an earlier confrontation with Nado Ninkpel alias Nado Konkomba, the alleged assassin, over a case of theft reported and settled by the Kpandai police.

The deceased were buried after the police told the family members to go ahead and bury their relations following a report lodged with the police of the dastardly act.

The alleged murderer was subsequently arrested and kept into custody after being arraigned before the Tamale District court when the Paramount Chief of East Gonja Traditional Area had reported the case to the police.

It is feared that if immediate attention were not given the looming security threat in the area, a misunderstanding would ensue between the Nawuris and the Konkombas, which may disintegrate into communal violence.

The Chronicle learnt that any time Nado Konkomba was brought for trial, he feigns madness, a situation, which makes it difficult for trial to continue.

The case had been called every month and it is scheduled for yesterday, March 10, 2006.

However, Chronicle sources indicate that an order had been received from the attorney general's office requesting for the case to be forwarded to the High Court.

Information reaching the Chronicle pointed out that panic over the issue is preventing the people in the community from going to their farms since there had been several cases of attempted murder.

In a petition to the Minister of the Interior, copied to the Regional Security Council, the Kpandai Nawuri Youth through their Secretary are pleading with the authorities to ensure that justice prevails in the case pending before the court in order to guarantee peace and harmony in the area to avoid any spillover of bloodshed.

Sources say one, Alhassan sent a case of theft to the police station that he followed the footsteps of someone, who stole yams from his farm, which in fact ended at Nado Ninkpel, the alleged assassin's farm where there are hips of yam.

Ninkpel was then arrested after confessing to stealing the yams, Chronicle sources indicated.

At the police station, according to our informant, one of the victims, Akitaye reported to the police that Ninkpel stole his yams in the presence of Anebo, also deceased, as witness but the police intervened and settled the case by asking the suspect to return the yams to their respective owners.

It was latter alleged that the suspect had expressed his intention to eliminated the victims for tainting his family's name.

Subsequently, the suspect fled to Salaga, a suburb, after allegedly assassinating the victims, however, Ninkpel allegedly told the Paramount Chief of East Gonja Traditional Area, Kpembewura, who reported the case to the police that it was a Gonja, who hired him to murder the victims.

Suspect was arrested and then sent to Tamale, the Chronicle heard.

On May 30, 2005, the alleged murderer was sent to the victims' farms, where he allegedly demonstrated how he killed them.

Additionally, on October 6, 2005, a medical officer and Criminal Division Officer (CDO) went to Kpandai to exhume the bodies for autopsy to confirm the veracity or otherwise of the confessions of the suspected murderer.

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