General News Fri, 30 Jun 2006

Murdered High Court Judges remembered

Accra, June 30, GNA - This year's Remembrance Service was held at the Saint Paul's Lutheran Church, Kanda in Accra, on Friday in memory of the three High Court Judges and a retired Army Officer, who were murdered in cold blood on June 30, 1982.

Members of the Bench and Bar; family members, friends and sympathisers of the deceased attended the Service. The day christened: "Martyrs' Day, was instituted over two decades ago by the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) to remember their colleagues, who lost their lives in the course of fighting for the entrenchment of the rule of law.

On the eve of that fateful day, the three judges, Mr Justice Fred Poku Sarkodie; Mrs Justice Cecilia Afran Koranteng-Addow and Mr Justice Kwadwo Agyei-Agyepong, together with Major Sam Acquah, were abducted from their respective homes and brutally murdered at the Bundase Military Range in the Accra Plains.

The bodies of the four were doused with petrol and set on fire, but Divine intervention through rains that night quenched their burning bodies, which had deteriorated into s state of decomposition when discovered.

In a sermon, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Kofi Fynn, President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, re-echoed the words of Former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, on his assumption of office by asking for forgiveness for the perpetrators.

Rt Rev Dr Fynn said, to the surprise of his teeming supporters, President Mandela, who suffered imprisonment at the hands of the Apartheid Regime in his motherland, called for forgiveness and unity in South Africa.


Rt Rev. Dr Fynn, who is also the Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana, therefore, urged Ghanaians to use the occasion to reconcile with one another and to live in the spirit of forgiveness in order to move the nation forward.

In his message titled: "Lest We Forget", Mr Kwame Tetteh, National President of GBA, recounted the gruesome event of June 30, 1982 and pointed out that if the murderers and their accessories expected that the murder would be hailed in the name of the December 31, 1981 Revolution, they were soon undeceived, because Ghanaians gave it an open and swift condemnation.

Mr Tetteh stated that since their colleagues died in the line of duty to their motherland, countrymen, and the Rule of Law, "we must continue to mourn the deceased judges lest we forget them as martyrs of the Law.

"We shall continue to celebrate the Martyrs' Day, lest we forget the need for vigilance against acts, conduct or utterance by any person or group of persons that may destabilise the democratic dispensation or undermine human rights in Ghana." Prayers were said for peace in the country and in Africa as a whole.

Among dignitaries present at the service were Mr Joe Ghartey, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice; Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, immediate past Speaker of Parliament and Mr Sam Okudzeto, a former President of GBA. 30 June 06

Source: GNA