11 February 2016

Ghana: Five Detained Over JB Danquah's Death

The once blissful and welcoming abode of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North, Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu, within a split second was transmogrified into an avenue of dirges and uncontrollable tears, after unknown assailants stabbed the generous MP to death at his East Legon residence in Accra, yesterday. The police had already picked 5 people for questioning.

As early as 7am, hundreds of supporters of the NPP, mainly from Akyem Tafo in the Eastern Region, occupying Toyota Pick-Up vehicles, had pulled in at his premises to commiserate with the family, who would not contain the untimely demise of their bread winner.

They invoked curses on the perpetrators of the heinous crime, even as they appealed to the police to act with dispatch in investigating the matter.

Rose Arugba, a resident of Akyem Tafo, attracted the most attention when she arrived at the crime scene before 6am. She could hardly come to terms with the death of a man she described as tolerant, kind and accommodating.

"Abuakwah North has lost a wonderful person. We will go hungry from now on. We are in trouble," Mrs. Arugba, who said the late MP had paid her son's Senior High School admission fees cried out.

Some big shots of the NPP, dressed in black apparel, were at the scene to mourn their fallen colleague. Among them were Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate of the NPP flag bearer, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, NPP flag bearer; Freddie Blay, acting National Chairman of the NPP; Stephen Asamoah Boateng, former Minister of Information in the erstwhile Kufuor government; Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John), former General Secretary of the NPP; I.C Quaye, a former Greater Accra Regional Minister; Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome Kwabenya and Kofi Konadu Apraku, a former Minister for Trade and Industry.

Relatives and friends, including Kennedy Agyegong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kenpong Travel and Tour; Frank Adu, Managing Director of Cal Bank; Kofi Kapito, CEO of the Consumer Protection Agency and Kwame Awuah-Darko, CEO of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) showed up. Some foreign nationals, mostly Asians, said to be staff in the deceased's private company, Automotive Springs, could not hold back their tears.

Sources say the police received a distress call at dawn and quickly rushed to the scene, only to find the MP in a pool of blood. He was subsequently sent to the hospital, where he died on arrival.

Led by the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, Commissioner of Police (COP) Dr. George Dampare, the police thereafter laid siege at the residence, after relocating the deceased's wife, children and other occupants of the facility. That was to prevent any of them from tampering with evidence.

COP Dampare would not divulge any further information since that could compromise their investigations. He said the privacy of the family of the deceased ought to be respected, adding that there was little the police could do at that moment.

Moments later, personnel from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), led by COP Prosper Agblor also surfaced. They went round the building to gather evidence. There was the suspicion the assassins had access to the building through one of the metal holdings attached to the concrete wall of the house.

It was established upon examination that the entire metal was dusty, except some three of them. The criminals might have forced their way through the metal openings, as a demonstration by one of the detectives indicated that a human head could easily go through, permeating passage for the other parts of the body. There were some traceable footprints on the grass close to the cleaned portion of the metal.

It also came to light that a ladder in the house, which was behind the building, was found close to the entrance, exactly where the bedroom of the deceased was. Blood stains on the foot and finger prints of the assassins could be traced on the walls behind the building and on the wall, where they were believed to have escaped.

The Greater Accra Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Afia Tenge, at a news conference later in the day, said five people, compromising two females and three males, had been picked up for investigations.

Narrating the incident to The Chronicle, one of the drivers of the deceased, who mentioned his name as Michael Essel, said his boss returned home around 12 midnight with his second driver, who shortly after parking the vehicle, sought permission to leave.

About an hour later, police got information that his boss had been stabbed by some faceless persons. He was not sure what the future held for him because there was the indication that his hope had been dashed. He tabled the late MP's good deeds to him and his family, his constituents and employees.

Back in Parliament, brief greeted the entire chamber when they received the disturbing news. The legislators, who pleaded with the Speaker of Parliament to suspend the session, echoed the need for government to provide them with security, arguing that it was not a needless demand.

The Speaker of Parliament, Doe Adjaho, after granting the request of the Members of Parliament moved to the residence of the late Joesph Boakye Danquah Adu to console the bereaved family. That was after 1pm. They were taken round the building, where most of them said they suspected foul play. They were convinced an insider was behind the entire drama.

MP for Abuakwa South, Atta Akyea, did not believe the killing of his colleague was politically-motivated.

He said the late Abuakwa North MP was a background man for the flag bearer of their party, an indication that the party had lost a great person. He said though the man was a very successful businessman, he was unbelievably down to earth. "There is no problem you will go to him with, that he will not help you," he said.

Lawyer Atta Akyea used the opportunity to appeal for security for Members of Parliament. According to him, "The work we do as MPs we do is not easy. DCEs and MCEs are provided with security but we are not taken serious. We really need security."

The late Abuakwa North MP, some time ago, had been reportedly attacked by some unknown persons, in the course of which he sustained some injuries.

His death brings to 37, the number of Members of Parliament in Ghana's Fourth Republic, who had been attacked, resulting in some deaths and serious injuries.

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