Today in History, exactly 41 years ago, on 26 June 1979, Ghana’s former head of state, Lieutenant General Fred Akuffo was executed by a firing squad after being convicted of “corruption, embezzlement and using his position to amass wealth” after a short trial by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) which had seized power under the leadership of Flt. Lt Jerry John Rawlings.
He was executed together with General Akwasi Afrifa, also a former Head of state and Major General Robert Kotei, Colonel Roger Felli, Air Vice Marshal George Yaw Boakye and Rear Admiral Joy Amedume.
General I. K. Acheampong led a group of disgruntled army officers and usurped Prime Minister Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia’s government in 1972, and formed a government which they called The Supreme Military Council (SMC).
However, in 1978, General Acheampong was accused of economic mismanagement and forced to resign by a group of army officers led by General Fred Akuffo.
On June 4, 1979, Ghana was ushered into its morning life with an announcement on radio by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings of a change in government by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).
A new leader named Flt. Lt Jerry John Rawlings, who had been sprung from a prison cell where he had been concealed since leading an abortive coup a few weeks earlier, was installed as the leader of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).
The AFRC immediately made clear its intention to hold to account those it considered responsible for Ghana’s economic woes and proceeded with what it described as a ‘House Cleaning’ operation.
General Fred Akuffo and a number of other high-ranking military officials including two former Heads of State, Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and General Akwasi Afrifa, were apprehended and placed in detention.
General Fred Akuffo was executed along with other senior military officers on 26 June 1979 at the Teshie Military Range, Ghana.
Fred Akuffo was born at Akropong in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He completed his secondary education at the Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School in 1955 at Odumase Krobo, Ghana.
He then enlisted in the Ghana Army in 1957 and trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, the UK among others, receiving his commission in 1960.
He was married to Mrs. Emily Akuffo and also attended the National Defence College in India in 1973.