V/R: Lakpo-Zome controversy over alleged threat on a Chief’s life; The story behind speculations

Togbe Abordor VIII, Divisional Chief of Anyigbe Clan, Agave-Lakpo
Togbe Abordor VIII, Divisional Chief of Anyigbe Clan, Agave-Lakpo

Investigations jointly conducted by Akukorku Media Consult and Coverghana.com.gh news portals have revealed that there is a real story behind the Saturday, 11th September, 2021 alleged suspected assassination moves and plans on the life of Togbe Abordor VIII, Divisional Chief of Anyigbe Clan, Agave-Lakpo in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region by a 50-year old private security operative, Mr. Kweku Amankwa. Mr. Amankwa had visited the fiancée at the Lakpo Zome community when the controversy sparked off.

TOGBE ABORDOR VIII, DIVISIONAL CHIEF OF ANYIGBE CLAN, AGAVE-LAKPO SPEAKS ON THE MATTER 

Recounting the incident to our newsteam in an interview at his residence at Lakpo Zome, Togbe Abordor VIII said on that fateful day about 1.30pm, an unknown person trespassed into his residence in his absence and asked of the whereabouts of the Chief for three separate times from the wife, Madam Beatrice Gati.

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According to him, Mr. Kweku Amankwa’s initial encounter with the wife included asking for a direction to a nearby drinking spot to buy a drink. Togbe Abordor VIII said after he had returned home, Mr. Amankwa came again, adding that his observation of Amankwa was that he was allegedly carrying a side arm and also pulling down his shirt to cover it.

The Chief said he became curious and asked the wife where she knew Mr. Amankwa from. One of his cousins, Mr. Bright Amexoxo who had just arrived from Sogakope, enquired from a team of rice buyers loading rice nearby if there was anybody amongst them with a fire arm. The answer was negative. According to Togbe Abordor VIII, it was at this point that he became alarmed that something was amidst.

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The Divisional Chief said when he stood up to respond to a missed call from his lawyer, Mr. Amankwa followed suit, bypassed and carefully observed him from a distance before finally entering an adjacent house belonging to the late mother of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area.

Togbe Abordor VIII said Mr. Amankwa returned to his residence after some five minutes to meet his wife, explaining that he was allegedly told in that house that the gentleman he earlier met on call, was indeed the Chief. The wife, he said rebuffed the suggestion, adding that the alleged Chief he (Amankwa) was talking about was not even available.

The Chief indicated that Mr. Amankwa then left a message with the wife that he was in the MP’s mother’s residence and that he would like to meet him on his return.

The Divisional Chief told our newsteam that when the wife delivered this message to him, he quickly dispatched Mr. Richard Amexoxo, a cousin and one of his brothers-in-law, Mr. Sampson Teku to the said house to invite the said visitor. His delegation was informed by one elderly woman in that house that Amankwa had gone. According to the Chief, he realized moments after, that, the woman which our investigations revealed to be Hannah Amexoxo and an Auntie to the Chief, was heard on phone telling someone that something was amidst and that a car should be brought to whisk away Amankwa. Togbe Abordor VIII said his suspicion was further deepened.

He therefore immediately called back his youth from a funeral ground at Hikpo and ordered them to surround the said house based upon his conviction that Amankwa was hiding there contrary to an earlier information that he had left.

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The Chief intimated that before the arrival of the police, an unregistered car with tinted dark glasses arrived in the community from the Dabala Junction direction to whisk away Amankwa but the youth stopped the vehicle, compelling the occupant(s) to go back.

Togbe Abordor VIII accused one Mr. Emmanuel Agbenorku, a cousin, of using his mobile phone to video the boys who placed surveillance on the house in question. He also accused Emmanuel of preventing anyone including the police from accessing the room where Mr. Amankwa had lodged.

According to the Divisional Chief, the police forcibly entered the room after explaining their mission to Mr. Agbenorku only to find Mr. Amankwa as well as the pistol lying under a piece of cloth in the same room.

Togbe Abordor VIII said the suspect, Amankwa as well as Emmanuel were then arrested together with the gun and sent to the police station at Sogakope. According to him, Emmanuel was released on bail on the same day while Mr. Amankwa remained in police custody until Tuesday, 14th September, 2021 when he also had a bail.

In a response to a question posed to him by our newsteam, Togbe Abordor VIII said he strongly believed Mr. Amankwa’s intention was allegedly to assassinate him. He argued that his family and that of the relatives of the MP have not been in good terms for several years now. ‘For anybody therefore to have a pistol and be kept or hidden in that house means a lot and mischief’, he stressed.

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SPOUSE OF THE CHIEF, MADAM BEATRICE GATI’S SIDE IF THE STORY

The spouse of the Chief, Madam Beatrice Gati confirmed the story, adding that one of the questions she asked Mr. Amankwa was whether he knew the Chief he was looking for. According to her, Mr. Amankwa did not provide any answer only to ask her why as custom demanded, she would not provide him with a seat and water as a visitor only to be interrogating him. Madam Gati also disclosed that her conversation with Mr. Amakwa revealed that he had come to visit Ms. Vida Addo, the fianceé.

THE ACCUSED FIANCEÉ, MS. VIDA ADDO’S REACTION ON THE MATTER

Our newsteam made several unsuccessful attempts to get the side of Mr. Kweku Amankwa’s story. He has been unwilling to speak to the media on the issue. The fianceé and 35-year old Ms. Vida Addo however spoke to us in an interview at their Lakpo Zome residence.

According to Vida, she had left for Dabala for an eye screening exercise before Kweku arrived around 8.30am on that fateful Saturday of 11th September, 2021. She added that Kweku was not feeling well when he came, adding that she returned home to see him briefly before returning to the eye screening grounds.

Narrating her fiancé’s side of the story, Vida stated that Kweku told her that he was only taking a stroll to town to get a drink when he bounced into the wife of the Chief who subsequently showed him their residence. According to her, Kweku said he was encouraged to go back to the Chief’s house to pay homage because of the warm reception Madam Beatrice Gati extended to him. She believed that, had it not been the warm reception given to Kweku by the Chief’s wife on his arrival, after knowing that, the fiancee and the Chief are family relatives, he wouldn’t have been compelled to meet the Chief to exchange pleasantries.

Ms. Addo indicated that when she returned to the eye screening centre at Dalala, she later had a call from the mother around 3.30pm, asking her to return immediately and that some youth had surrounded the house with sticks, clubs and cutlasses, demanding to see her visi tor. ‘I was wondering because Kweku is a cool person and does not like trouble’, I said to myself.

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When I returned, I met the angry and charged youth and managed to reach my fiancé in the room. He was indeed fast asleep and sweating profusely, apparently because of his feverish condition. I woke him up and requested that he should come out and receive some fresh air outside, a request he obliged to and began looking into his mobile phone in his knickers and singlet. It was at this point that my cousin, Emmanuel Agbenorku had also arrived in order to say hello to him. Suddenly, I also saw Mr. Bright Amexoxo, another cousin near our kitchen who also told me they were looking for Kweku.

According to her, she even expressed her displeasure to Bright about their reaction and the development and that she was still at a loss as to what was happening. ‘My guy was also asking me what was going on’, Vida added.

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Ms. Addo said shortly after her conversation with Mr. Bright Amexoxo, the police had arrived in the house. According to her, they got closer to Kweku who took them to the room. He also pointed at his gun for them at their request which they took custody of.

VIDA’S MOTHER, HANNAH AMEXOXO’S REACTION TO THE ISSUES

Vida’s mother and 78-year old Hannah Amexoxo also spoke to our newsteam. She said after Kweku came to say hello to her on arrival that morning, she did not know he had gone out to town until the house was surrounded by the youth, wielding catapult, stones and clubs, threatening to as it were deal with Kweku.

Madam Amexoxo said the fear for Kweku’s life was what compelled her to tell the angry youth that Kweku was not available. According to her, it was at this point that she picked her phone and also called Vida to return home immediately and that something was going on. She also told the daughter on phone to call Kweku to inform him not to step out from the room so he could be safe.

According to Madam Hannah, she also called one of her nephews, Mr. Emmanuel Agbenorku at Dabala Junction to inform him of the latest development. She disclosed that after some minutes, Vida and Emmanuel arrived, followed by the police who subsequently apprehended Kweku and Emmanuel together with the pistol and taken away to Sogakope.

She made it clear that she followed up with a call to another nephew at Kasoa in the Central Region where she briefed him on the incident including the arrest of the nephew, Emmanuel. She also disclosed that she placed another call to the MP who is also her nephew to inform him of the issue and also pleaded with him to urgently intervene.

Madam Amexoxo told our newsteam that when Emmanuel returned to the house at Lakpo Zome around 9pm that same day to pick Kweku’s phone from his bag to inform his employers about the incident as requested by Kweku, a huge confrontation took place. The youth allegedly ganged up against Emmanuel and the motor rider, accusing Emmanuel of being a murderer. ‘The youth also threw stones into the house and at me, some of which hit my legs and knees’, she lamented. She also showed to our newsteam some of the collected stones she alleged had hit her in the process.

EMMANUEL AGBENORKU’S TAKE ON THE HAPPENINGS

When contacted, Mr. Emmanuel Agbenorku confirmed the story but denied obstructing the police to enter Kweku’s room. According to him, the only person he prevented from entering the room due to trust issues was Mr. Bright Amexoxo, a cousin. According to him, he boarded the police vehicle to Sogakope following Mr. Amankwa’s appeal to help bail him when necessary, adding that it was at the police station that he was also locked up and subsequently accused of harbouring a criminal with the intention of assassinating the Chief. He described the action of the Chief as unfortunate, saying Kweku had no such intentions.

According to Mr. Agbenorku, he has had a land issue with the Chief, landing them in court, adding that judgment had been given in his favour, a development which had strained the relationship between him and the Chief. He alleged that anytime there is an issue in the village, the Chief would want to as it were ‘find trouble’ for him hence all the unfortunate allegations.

TONGU DIVISIONAL POLICE COMMAND’S STATEMENT ON THE SUBJECT MATTER

The Tongu Divisional Police Command is handling the case. The Divisional Crime Officer, Chief Supt. Peter Kamassah told our newsteam that the suspect, Mr. Kweku Amankwa has been charged for possessing arms without authority and also for threat of death. He also confirmed to our team that, after the arrest of Kweku,  the police confirmed that, he is a private security personnel and the gun he was holding is registered from an undisclosed company. It was also reported that, the accused is a supposed security personnel to a manager of the undisclosed company.

FIRST APPEARANCE IN COURT

When the case was called at the Sogakope Circuit Court on Thursday, 16th September, 2021, Mr. Amankwa was not in court as he was said to be hospitalized at the Ridge Hospital in Accra. He had since been granted bail with two sureties to be produced in court on Thursday, 23rd September, 2021.

The Sogakope Circuit Court Judge, His Honour, Isaac Addo requested that Agbotadua Amegayibor II who represented the suspect in court, should submit evidence to the court from the Ridge Hospital authorities to the effect that the suspect was indeed hospitalized on the first court date of Thursday, 16th September, 2021.

SECOND APPEARANCE IN COURT

When the case was called again on Thursday, 23rd September, 2021, Mr. Amankwa was still absent from court on the same grounds of ill-health. The case has since been adjourned to Wednesday, 6th October, 2021.

OUR INTERACTIONS WITH SOME SECURITY EXPERTS 

Some security experts our newsteam spoke to, rejected suggestions to the effect that Mr. Kweku Amankwa was in the community to assassinate Togbe Abordor VIII. According to them, any serious minded person(s) with such a diabolical agenda would not go about asking of the Chief of a community and his residence from people around. They however conceded that Togbe Abordor VIII has every right to be concerned about his life and security judging from his past experiences he shared with the newsteam.

CONCLUSION

It is interesting to know that all the members of the parties involved in the current brouhaha are close relations. Our investigations revealed that these family members have been at loggerheads with one another due to several years of protracted land and other related family disputes amongst them. The situation has resulted in allegations of suspicion as well as counter allegations and suspicions and accusations amongst these close relatives who live very close with one another in the same community. In fact, they are all neighbours.

Hon. MP for South Tongu, Mr. Wisdom Kobena Mensah Woyome’s late mother, Mr. Emmanuel Agbenorku’s mother, Togbe Abordor’s father and the 78-year old Madam Hannah Amexoxo are siblings from the same maternal and paternal parents. Madam Hannah follows Togbe Abordor’s father directly while the MP’s Mummy follows Madam Hannah twice. By extension therefore, Togbe Abordor VIII, MP Kobena Mensah Woyome, Mr. Emmanuel Agbenorku, Bright Amexoxo and Ms. Vida Addo are all first cousins. In otherwords, Togbe Abordor’s Auntie is Hannah Amexoxo. They all live in the same vicinity. Only a wall separates Togbe Abordor’s residence from his late Auntie, MP Kobena Woyome’s mother’s residence. Madam Hannah and Ms Vida also live just adjacent to this house.

The following are some sound bites of the personalities we spoke to in our investigations. Apart from Mr. Emmanuel Agbenorku who spoke in English, the rest granted us their interviews in Ewe.

Akukorku Media Consult and Coverghana.com.gh would update you further on the issue in the coming days and weeks.

WATCH BELOW, AN EXCEPT OF THE INTERVIEW WITH BOTH PARTIES.

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