Slain Immigration officer laid to rest at Senya Beraku
Uncontrolled weeping mixed with calls for vengeance and divine justice climaxed a burial service held in Accra on Saturday for the recently slain 24-year-old immigration officer.
The late Immigration Control Officer (ICO) Michael Otoo, who would have turned 25-years-old yesterday (Sunday), was killed by some unknown assailants at Kokoligonear Hamile in the Upper West Region on March 22.
The sobbing and intermitted wiping of tears that lingered throughout the four-hour service at the A.M. E Zion Church at Atico, reached an unrestrained level when the coffin, draped in the nationalcolours, was conveyed to the hearse by Immigration officers.
Mourners, mostly women dressed in red and black, wailed wildly as some shouted: “Paa, if you go, don’t rest. Don’t sleep. Avenge your death” and “God, give us justice, and punish the killers of our young child.”
The deceased’s mother, surrounded by some mourners, followed the hearse and Immigration guard of honour at a distance, saying “They are taking my son away oo. I won’t see him again, this is painful.”
She was restrained when the hearse turned onto the Accra- Cape Coast highway en route to Senya Beraku in the Central Region for interment.
Earlier at the service, the widow, Abigail, who had previously cried bitterly while lying on the coffin, in a tribute read on her behalf, described her husband as a loving, well-trained and perfect man who cared for her throughout the 19 months of marriage.
“My hope has been dashed, my future uncertain by the cruel person(s) who shot you to death. Hmmm, death why? What have I done wrong? I am broken and speechless,” she said.
A touching piece written for their daughter said “I may not be able to utter words because I am only less than two years old, but my smiles and heart speak volumes of how much I am thankful for you.”
“They forcefully took my future…. The cold and lonely days ahead will be a difficult journey without you, but your trust and faith in God reassure me that we will be okay,” it continued.
The bereaved family, church, and friends took turns to eulogise the deceased at the service attended by officers and men of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and others from sister security services.
The GIS tribute said the late ICO Otoo was a law-abiding and hard-working officer who would be remembered for his resilience and integrity.
The GIS Head of Religious Affairs, Reverend Michael Baakwaw, in a sermon, urged all to remember their creator while they were strong, for a day would come that they would be incapable.
The Head of Public Affairs of GIS, Superintendent Michael Amoako-Atta, told journalists that a report on the probe into the incident would be made public once the Service received it.
The late ICO Otoo passed out of Immigration Training School in September 2017. In April 2021, he was selected to be part of Operation Conquered First at Hamile.
A statement issued by the GIS said he was shot on his way to night duty at the Ghana/Burkina Faso border by unknown assailants believed to be smugglers. He was posthumously promoted to ICO.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR