Suspended General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Kwabena Agyapong has given a chilling account of how his father, Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyapong was abducted by some unidentified assailants on the night of July 30, 1982.
Narrating how it all happened in a JoyNews Special Documentary titled “Who killed the Judges” detailing the brutal murders of Justice Cecilia Koranteng-Addow, Justice Fred Poku Sarkodie, Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyapong and Major Sam Acquah, Mr. Agyaong said he was 19 when the incident occurred.
While writing a letter in the living room on that fateful night, Kwabena Agyapong said he heard knocks on the door.
He said visitors came in looking for his father with a concocted story that one Aunty Ceccy was not well and had been rushed to the Ridge Hospital for treatment and that Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyapong’s presence was needed since her (Aunty Ceccy’s) husband was unavailable.
There was a curfew but strange as it was, seeing the visitors at that ungodly hour, Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyapong did not hesitate to follow them to the hospital. Clad in white shorts and singlet, he wore his native slippers and rushed out with the visitors to see the supposed sick woman.
Kwabena Agyapong said he continued writing his letter when his father left and later went to bed only to wake up the next day to realise his father had been abducted.
“We were not to notice that he didn’t come home. I just went and slept so it was only in the morning that we heard a loud knock on the door and it was coming from our next door neighbours and that happened to be Justice Poku Sarkodie’s wife. So the wife came to inform my dad that last night the husband had been picked and she saw them but I think they argued a bit and they were able to take her husband away. So I didn’t even get it so I rushed up to my father’s bedroom to go and tell him what has happened, when I got to the bedroom he wasn’t there,” he narrated.
“So I went to my mother’s room and I said where is Daddy? And she said, he should be asleep and I said he’s not there. I went downstairs and the food remained the same way he left it; not finished eating, nobody has touched it, so we were confused. Then I also run out of the house and went to Justice Adusei’s house which is just across. So it is when I got to Justice Adusei’s house that he confirmed, he called Justice Akpalu who was then a Chief Justice at the time. So it was then that we realised there was something serious happening that some three judges had been picked the previous night. So nobody knew that he didn’t come back so we found out only the next morning that was when we thought they’ve been missing and they’ve been abducted so it was a very long four or so days. Thursday, Friday, Saturday till Sunday that there was an official announcement that this has happened,” Kwabena Agyapong said as he tried hard to withhold his tears.
About Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyapong
Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyapong was born at Oyoko in November 1926. Went to Mfantsipim in 1942, had a bachelor of law degree at the Kings College in 1958 and called to Inner Temple in 1960.
He was elevated to the position of High Court judge in 1977.
He was married to Comfort Agyapong and had 10 children. His last child was 3 months when he was abducted.
Thirty-six years ago on June 30, 1982, three high court judges – Justices Fred Poku Sarkodee, Cecilia Koranteng-Addow and Kwadwo Agyei Agyepong, as well as a retired Army Officer, Major Sam Acquah – were abducted at night during the curfew hours.
Their partly burnt bodies were found on July 3, 1982 in a state of decomposition at the Bundase Military Range on the Accra Plains. The bodies had been doused with petrol and set on fire but by divine intervention, raindrops that night quenched the burning bodies before they were discovered.
The defunct Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), headed by Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, which publicly expressed horror at the crime and yielded to strong public pressure, set up a Special Investigation Board (SIB) with a former Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Samuel Azu Crabbe, as chairman, to investigate the murders.
The inquiry is noted for the courage and professional expertise of its main investigator, J.J. Yidana, an officer of the Ghana Police Service. The SIB submitted its report and was published along with a Government White Paper.
The SIB made a number of findings, leading to the prosecution of Joachim Amartey Kwei, a member of the PNDC; L/Cpls Samuel Amedeka; Samuel Michael Senyah; Johnny Dzandu and Tekpor, who are ex-soldiers.
For the past 36 years, the Bar and the Bench have been mourning the death of the martyrs of the rule of law.