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Three Killers Get Life for Palace Massacre

Men sentenced to life imprisonment for a palace shooting in Ghana that killed people in 2019

by Victor Adetimilehin

Three men have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a High Court in Ho, Ghana, for their involvement in a deadly shooting at a palace in 2019.

The convicts, Kwabena Aduam, Amanpene Gyane, and Kwabena Asante, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, murder, and abetment of crime.

They were part of a group of masked gunmen who stormed the installation ground at Katanga, at the Palace of the late Nana Diawuo Bediako II, and opened fire on the crowd. The attack, which was motivated by a chieftaincy dispute, claimed the lives of four people and injured several others.

The victims were taken to the WoraWora Government Hospital for treatment, while the assailants fled the scene. Police investigation led to the arrest of Aduam and Gyane, while Asante was apprehended in Togo after a few months.

A Long Wait for Justice

The trial of the three men lasted for more than four years, with several adjournments and delays. The prosecution presented 12 witnesses and 15 exhibits to prove their case, while the defense called four witnesses.

The seven jurors appointed to adjudicate the case unanimously returned a guilty verdict for all three charges pressed against the convicts. Justice Mr George Buadi, the presiding judge, said he found inconsistencies in the witness statements and cross-examination of all three.

“They tried to act clever by pleading alibi but evidence from the investigator proved beyond reasonable doubt that they indeed committed the crime,” he said.

Asante, who has been in prison custody on remand, appeared in court in handcuffs, while Aduam and Gyane, who were on bail, were accompanied to the court by their friends and relatives.

Mr Moses Asampoa, Senior State Attorney, commended the court, especially the jurors, for upholding the principle of justice. He said the ruling would send a warning to anyone who intended to take the law into their own hands.

A Quest for Peace and Reconciliation

The chieftaincy conflict that sparked the violence has been a source of tension and instability in the Oti Region for years. The dispute involves two factions, the Nkonya and the Alavanyo, who claim ownership of a piece of land.

Several attempts to resolve the conflict through dialogue and mediation have failed, resulting in periodic clashes and bloodshed.

The government has deployed security forces to maintain law and order in the area, and imposed curfews and restrictions on movement and assembly.

However, some residents and civil society groups have called for a more lasting solution that addresses the root causes of the conflict and promotes peace and reconciliation.

They have urged the traditional authorities, the political leaders, and the religious leaders to work together to foster dialogue and mutual understanding among the conflicting parties. Some have also appealed to the youth to shun violence and embrace tolerance and harmony. They hope that the court’s verdict will serve as a deterrent to future violence and a catalyst for positive change.

Source: Modern Ghana 

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