11 September 2010

Ghana: Family of Missing Pastor Petitions IGP

Members of the Amedzro family at Battor have appealed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, to help investigate circumstances leading to the disappearance of their son, Pastor George Avorka, pastor in-charge of the Mepe Baptist Church in the Volta region.

According to them, the disappearance of Pastor Avorka had created a lot of confusion, not only in the family, but also in Battor and neighbouring towns, including Mepe and Aveyime.

The appeal to the IGP, according to the family, stems from the fact that they were not happy with the way and manner the Aveyime, under the command of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Felix Apedo, was handling the case.

Speaking in an interview with the paper at Battor, the head of the Amedzro family, Togbe S. K. Amedzro, said on the dawn of June 8, 2010, Pastor Avorka, who also peddles GNLD drugs, left home after receiving a call from someone they did not know.

When after two weeks Pastor Avorka did not return, they caused an announcement to be made on the Volta Star radio in Ho, and for four days nothing was heard of him. They therefore, informed the police on June 28 about their missing brother.

He said on July 4, 2010, at about 10:00 a.m., Mr. Golo Tugbe, an uncle of the 'missing Pastor,' went to Mr. Kumedzro, also a member of the family, to inform him that one of their sisters, popularly known as Ante Agbesi, had told him that when she went to fetch firewood the previous evening, she saw something like a dead body.

Quickly, he informed her brother, James Agbesi, to go and have a look at the body, but James only told him that he heard a vehicle had knocked down someone that dawn, and so he would not go there.

Though the police were informed about the discovery of the said body, nothing was found when they later went to the scene.

Three persons, Autie Agbesi, Mr. Tugbe and David Gbedze, were subsequently arrested for questioning, to ascertain whether the body the woman claimed to have seen, was that of the missing brother.

James Agbesi, who was also penciled for arrest, disappeared from the town, and returned later in the company of a man, believed to be a representative of the Paramount Chief of the area, Togbe Dzekle, to the police station.

They alleged that the Paramount Chief had sent a delegation to the police station to secure a bail for James Agbesi.

After their release on bail, a family meeting was held to discuss the arrest of the family members, and James Agbesi allegedly informed the meeting that he needed money to be given to the police, so that they would not send the matter to court.

It was also discussed that because the 'missing Pastor' had a phone call before leaving home that dawn, there was the need to go to office of the MTN to see if they could get the identity of the caller.

They were however, told that they could not do that on their own, and that the only way they could do that was to get the police to submit an official letter to the MTN office.

According to the family, they informed the police, which promised to work on it, but nothing had been done about it.

About a month and half ago, Comfort Avorka, a sister of the 'missing Pastor,' bumped into a man who disclosed that he knew where the body of her 'missing brother' had been buried, even though he was not one of the people who murdered him.

She informed the Nungua police in Accra, which arrested the man and handed him over to the Aveyime police, because that was where the case was being investigated, for questioning.

The Aveyime police however, refused to listen to what the suspect had to say.

Mr. Amedzro alleged that even though they had been hearing that the matter had been sent to court, they did not know which court, and when, or how many times the suspects had appeared before it.

But, the Aveyime District Police Commander, DSP Felix Apedo, has denied the allegations, saying the matter was still under investigation. Continued


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