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One dead as violence rocks Ashalaja

Source: The Ghanaian Times

A 36-year-old man was shot dead during this year’s Homowo Festival at Ashalaja, near Amasaman in Accra, on Saturday.

Five other people sustained gunshot injuries and are currently receiving treatment at the Nsawam Government Hospital.

The deceased, Charles Kwaw Minta Addy, married to four wives with 13 children, was said to have inquired from Solomon Nii Akwanor IV (former chief of the town), why he was preparing to sprinkle the traditional meal, “kpoikpoi” in the town.

The deceased was allegedly shot in the forehead and chest by Nii Akwanor, also known in private life as Solomon Nii Obeney, and his son, Joshua.

An eye-witness told The Times that at about 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nii Akwandor went to the family house to pour libation, and on his way back home, accompanied by some of his followers, they were accosted by another group, some of whom were family members of Nii Akwandor III, also a former chief of Ashalaja.

In the ensuring confrontation, shots were fired and Charles Addy and others were hit.

According to documents received from the family of the deceased, Nii Akwanor’s name had been expunged from the register of the National House of Chiefs, indicating that he could no longer parade himself as the chief of the town.

The information indicated that at a full house meeting held by the National House of Chiefs on June 16, this year, the Acting Registrar was directed to expunge the name of Nii Akwanor from the register of chiefs on the recommendation of the Research and Standing Committees, following a letter from the lawyers of elders of the town.

The Amasaman Police Commander, Superintendent George Kumah told The Ghanaian Times that the police had information at about 11 a.m. on Saturday, that Nii Akwanor was making preparations to sprinkle kpokpoi in the town as the chief.

He said Addy, together with some other members of the Akwanor Royal Family, went to enquire why he was parading as the chief, sprinkling the traditional meal.

That infuriated Nii Akwanor and his son, who fired into the crowd.

Supt. Kumah said police personnel at the scene arrested four people, all followers of Nii Akwanor.

Nii Akwanor and his son Joshua and some of his followers fled from the scene, but abandoned his car in traffic at Amasaman and started running. “Some of the people around saw blood in his car, so they smashed the car,” the Police Commander said.

According to Supt. Kumah, Nii Akwanor went to lodge a complaint at the Tesano Police Station that he had been attacked by a mob from Amasaman, and was issued with a medical report.

While receiving treatment at the 37 Military Hospital, the police swooped in and arrested him. He is currently in police custody, while a man-hunt has been launched for his son, Joshua, and the others.

According to Supt. Kumah, a gun was retrieved from Nii Akwanor, while empty cartridges were picked up from the scene of the shooting.

Nii Adams Addy, 61, father of the deceased, told The Times that his son was first rushed to the Amasaman Hospital, but referred to Nsawam Hospital and again referred to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. He died at dawn yesterday.

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