Ghana: Ex-Airforce Officer Butchered

Unidentified persons, in the early hours of Saturday, butchered to death a retired officer of the Ghana Air Force, Flt-Lt Francis Ekpe Matanawui, aged 46, at his New Dawhenya home.

Prior to the gruesome killing of the retired officer, the assailants, numbering four, raided the community known as A.R.S., and at gunpoint, robbed residents of monies and valuables, including the bride price of a lady whose marriage engagement took place the previous day.

What is not clear is if the death of the ex-officer was a result of armed robbery, or planned murder.

Our investigations at the scene revealed that there were struggles, and suggestions are rife that he might have engaged the assailants in give and take for a long time, compelling curious minds not to rule out the possibility that the officer may have wounded some of them.

The assailants gained access into the house after scaling over the about nine foot high fence wall, and forced open a door to the living room.

A pool of blood is visible in the living room, in which was stuck a pair of trousers, and a similar description of blood leads into the bedroom.

The sitting room sofa, which was at the corridor to the bathroom, is besmeared with a lot of blood.

In the bathroom were traces of blood and a bucket of water that the assailants probably used to clean themselves, leaving behind another pool of blood. Hanging in the bars of the bathroom window was one of a pair of red thick gloves, while the other part was outside on the ground, from where a PVC pipe protrudes from the bathroom, letting out a stream of blood and water.

At the time of our investigations, the police from Prampram, led by its District Crime Officer, and assisted by crime scene personnel of the Tema Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID), went to lock the main room to avoid intrusion and the possible obliteration of clues.

A tutor at the Chemu Senior High School, who spoke to this reporter, said that a few minutes after 03:00 hours, his household started a routine dawn prayer session, but not long after they heard a bang on their main door, and realised that somebody had fallen down immediately after.

According to him, they did not come out to look at the person for fear of being attacked, so instead, they decided to increase the volume of the radio set, and intensified their call on Jesus.

He went on to say that the dying person groaned in pain, but they continued to call neighbours on their respective cell phones.

Ironically, the residents directed their calls to retired Flt-Lt Matanawui, who was the pillar on which the local community security hangs, but his phone was off.

The wounded officer remained there until after about 45 minutes, when police patrol teams from Prampram, Dawhenya and Tema arrived and rushed him to the Tema General Hospital, where he died a few minutes later.

Mr. Paul Akoto, a taxi driver who shares a compound with the tutor and was a close associate of the retired officer, told this reporter that the last time they spoke was in the afternoon of Friday.

According to the taxi driver, the retired officer collected GH¢20 and GH¢50 from him on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, to enable him facilitate some activities.

He went on to say that in the afternoon of Friday, ex-Flt-Lt Matanawui, who was popularly known as Stone, called and told him that he had gone to collect his pension money, and therefore, refunded the GH¢70, and further told him that gas was available, so he should go and purchase some.

According to him, he decided to go and work in the night in order to exhaust the gas to pave way for him to refill, so he was away working in the night when the incident took place.

Meanwhile, the Tema Regional Police Command is appealing to hospitals and herbalists to give information of any wounded person who is brought to them for treatment.

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