The corpse of a traditional chief was burned to ashes, and a forty-year-old man, Ofosu Sabbah, shot dead at Terhe in the Ada West District of the Greater Accra Region due to a disagreement over burial space.
The incident occurred on Saturday September 15, during the final burial rites of the late Chief, Nene Mensah Zotorvi V.
Members of a rival faction, who were opposed to the burial of the late Chief in his residence, attacked the family and mourners with machetes and guns, killing the middle-aged man, and also burnt the remains of the Traditional Chief in an ambulance.
Narrating the incident to THE PUBLISHER, the Ada Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent George Kumah, said the rival faction had on Tuesday, September 11, secured a court injunction restraining the family from burying the late Chief in his house.
However, the writ could not be served at the said date until Saturday when it was done at the funeral grounds at Tamatoku.
He said the family, after reading the injunction, agreed to bury the late chief at a different burial place.
According to Chief Superintendent Kumah, the police, stood-by at the funeral grounds until 6pm before they left, convinced that the mourners would comply with the injunction.
“It was late in the evening when we received information that the body was sent to the disputed land for burial which resulted in a chaotic situation causing the body to be burnt to ashes together with the ambulance,” he narrated.
He said though the police had not made any arrests yet, they suspected the faction that went to court for the injunction.
Speaking to the Paper, the son of the late chief, Simon Atsu Zotorvie, said he took shelter in his father’s room when he saw the attackers approaching.
He said they shot sporadically into the room in an attempt to kill him, and later set the hearse ablaze.
Another eyewitness, Alhasan Iddrisu, said prior to the burial, some young men had on two occasions gone to destroy the grave they had dug, a development that prompted both the District Police Commander, George Aboagye, and the district BNI officer to visit the community.
According to Iddrisu, he personally arrested the ringleader of those who destroyed the grave, but the police commander called for his release with the excuse of making peace among the factions.
But the District Police Commander vehemently denied the allegation made by Alhasan.
For his part, the District Chief Executive, Hon. Adzoteye Lawer Akrofi, said an emergency DISEC meeting would be held today to establish the real cause of the clash and take steps to avert a reprisal attack.
He called on both factions to be calm as the security agencies have commissioned an investigation into the case.
Meanwhile, the charred body of the late Nene Zotorvie and that of Ofotsu Sabba have been sent to the Police Hospital in Accra.
By: Daniel Akpaloo Nyorgmor, Terhe-Sege