Chief, 3 others accused of murder freed

NANA Amampene Boateng Twum , the Chief of Nyinahini and three others have been acquitted and discharged by the Nkawie Circuit Court in the case in which they were allegedly accused of killing pastor Paul Abrafah,60, the head Pastor of the Church of the Lord, popularly called Aladura, on September 1, 2014.

The development followed an advice by the Attorney General’s Department which studied the docket, that there was lack of proper evidence.

“There is overwhelming evidence that the pastor was murdered, there is absolutely no evidence to connect any of them. It is my advice that the suspects herein be absolved and the case against them dropped”, the prosecution told the packed to capacity court when the chief and the accomplices appeared before it last Friday.

The judge, Mr Michael Johnson Addo, therefore acquitted and discharged the chief, a member of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Board of Directors, and the three, Bismark Atta senior, also known as Jordan and his brother, Oheneba Kwaku Duah and Obiri Yeboah Asante, also known as Kwadwo Ketewa, a carpenter.

The accused persons and family members rejoiced and jubilated when the court acquitted and discharged them.

Their pleas to charges of conspiracy to murder and committing murder were not taken.

Pastor Abraffah was killed at his residence at Nyinahini, in the Atwima Mponua district of Ashanti, on September1,2014.

The Ghanaian Times published the second story of the incident in its September 24, 2014 edition captioned “police hunt for Nyinahini chief,’’

And the chief was said to have surrendered himself following the publication. Nana Twum and the other three suspects spent about a month in prison custody, before being granted bail.

At the earlier sitting of the court, the chief’s lawyer had argued that the case be thrown out as the suspects have stated clearly that they knew nothing about the incident.

He argued that they were not against the Police investigating the matter but the Police should tell the court to what extent they have gone with the investigation as the facts of the case do not merit the charges they have preferred against the accused.

Lawyer Anaglate said the case itself was a fabrication being masterminded by people who desired to dethrone the chief and that such palace politics was dangerous.

He asked the court to exercise its discretional powers and throw out the application also because the prosecution was only basing their case on speculations and rumors.

The judge had said the matter was an issue of law and that Section 97 of Act 30 states that the court shall not grant bail in cases of murder, rape etc.

He quoted Article 144 of the constitution section 965/B that the court shall refuse bail if the accused is capable of interfering with investigations.

The facts of the case as presented by Police Superintendent L. E. Hanson was that the church had a vast land of which part had been used to cultivate oil palm plantation, adding that the said land was acquired by the church in 1970 from the late chief of Nyinahini.

According to the prosecution Tigo, a telecommunication company approached Nana Twum for a portion of land to erect its mast to improve communication delivery in the area.

The prosecution claimed that the chief without contacting the church negotiated with the company and collected GH¢5, 000 and released a portion of the land to the company to erect the mast.

When Pastor Abraffah got wind it he was said to have approached the chief who allegedly offered GH¢ 600.00 to the church as its share of the money received from the telecommunication company.

That gave rise to a misunderstanding between the deceased and the chief and the case was reported to the Asantehene and was yet to be heard for adjudication.

The prosecution said the chief allegedly engaged the three suspects to eliminate the pastor whose testimony before the Asantehene might have led to his (chief) destoolment.

On September 1, at about 4:30am, the deceased had returned from attending nature’s call and he was attacked and killed in cold blood allegedly by the suspects and when news broke out the suspects and the chief disappeared from the Nyinahini community.

Police on September 16, had information that the suspects, excluding the chief, had returned to the town and went to arrest them to help with investigation.

Lawyer Ana glate stated that the church bought the land when he (the chief) was not on the seat and that the chief only took GH¢1, 800 from Tigo.

Again he said the chief signed the site plan which was brought to him by the church, but that he told the church to exclude that small portion given to Tigo from the plan and bring it back for him to sign.

From Kingsley E. Hope, Nkawie

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