Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ALL ROADS at Tsito in the Volta Region led to the old Commercial Bank Square, when news broke in the early hours of yesterday that a coffin supposedly stuffed with money has been dumped along the road in that part of town by some unknown “sakawa” boys.

Fast-spreading rumours that the money-stuffed coffin might have been dumped from a moving vehicle by some “sakawa” boys the previous night, perhaps, as a police patrol team was gaining in on them, gave birth to total pandemonium, as inhabitants, both young and old, as well as passengers on board vehicles plying that route, besieged the area, with some of residents carrying bags and other containers, ostensibly to collect their share of the “sakawa” booty.

There was a severe vehicular traffic jam on that portion of the Ho-Accra main road, as drivers tooted horns, struggling to meander through the thick anxious crowd, most of whom wanted to see for themselves, the much talked-about sakawa snakes and the accompanying money.

These anxious moments however evaporated instantly, giving way to panic and tension, as counter-news swept through the area, like wild fire, that the coffin had been identified by some residents of the area, as the one in which they had buried their deceased relative at the weekend.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that police had a tough time deciding whether or not to open the casket due to fears that the coffin could after all be different and not the same as the one in which those claiming ownership had buried their dead.

It took police re-enforcement from Ho and the timely intervention of the Deputy Volta Regional Police Command, ACP Johnson Owusu-Agyepong, to hit the supposed sakawa coffin open and clear the confusion of the much expectant crowd at the scene.

Relatives of the deceased, whose name was only given as Korda, were said to have reported to the Anyirawase Police that they had discovered upon a visit to the graveside that the dead body had been exhumed by some unknown persons, and that the coffin lying along the road at Tsito looked exactly like theirs.

Deep-throat sources at Tsito said the fate of the deceased had been in a quandary for sometime now, because whilst alive, he was said to have engaged the chiefs and people of the area in a litigation, which case is currently in court.  

His funeral had to be held in the quiet amidst heavy police presence and the body later conveyed from Tsito to Anyirawase for burial on Saturday, following a directive reportedly issued by the chiefs and elders of Tsito, where he hailed from, that the body should not be buried in the town, should the bereaved family fail to apologize and pay the appropriate fines for going against the town.

DAILY GUIDE was reliably informed that this request by the chiefs and people of Tsito did not go down well with the bereaved family, so they purchased a piece of land at Anyirawase, where they, in the night of Saturday, buried the corpse.

This move, it was confirmed, was against the will of some residents of Anyirawase too, who were of the opinion that allowing the burial at that place could mean that they, the people of Anyirawase, were condoning and conniving with some citizens of Tsito to disobey their chiefs and elders.

 Police sources at both Anyirawase and Tsito told this paper that they received reports from the family of the deceased and the Assembly Member of Tsito that the coffin, suspected to be that in which Korda was buried, was lying by the roadside.

According to them, before they could get to the scene, the place was besieged by a large number of people. The police thus arranged with the bereaved family who helped to identify the body as that of their late relative.

The Police hinted that no arrest had been made, but gave the assurance that investigations were still ongoing to find the perpetrators.

The Police called for calm on the part of the bereaved family as well as the people of both Tsito and Anyirawase.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Volta Regional Police Commander, ACP Johnson Owusu-Agyepong, has asked the bereaved family to prepare the corpse for re-burial in the same grave.

As at the time of filing this story, however, DAILY GUIDE gathered that the coffin was still lying by the road side, while tension was said to be mounting in the town over the issue.

From Edem Adesi, Ho

Source: Daily Guide – Daily Guide