The Northern Regional Police Command has released, without a charge, a man who confessed to be one of the killers who left four people dead and nine others injured in a bizarre attack on some traders nearly two months ago at Najong 1 in the Bunkprugu Yunyoo district.
The man, identified as Tambini-Laar Sule, was arrested on January 25, in the village of the attack when he reportedly admitted to being part of the gang that gunned down innocent traders and bystanders.
In the dramatic confession, Tambini-Laar, a Tanmung kinsman and native of neighbouring Bimbagu, reportedly said he entered the village with a motorbike and raced to rest at a mocked drinking spot.
He was dressed in fainted black jacket on top of a cobra skinned shirt combined with slippers and begun grabbing the attention of other drunkards in the spot when he was heard aloud uncontrollably producing mysterious incantations about being hunted by dead souls.
More people begun to draw closer to him as he continued to pour out the chilling disclosures about who and how they were approached, planned and executed the horrific bloodbath. Shocked others brought out their mobile phones and filmed the happening.
Starr News has obtained a copy of the video that residents claim to be evidence of the man confessing in the local Bimoba language. In the video, he was seen trying to appease some unseen spirits with his admission while also muddying the sandy floor with the locally brewed gin and begging the slain victims for a pardon.
He said in his confession that eight of them, each received GH 3,100 by some individuals whose name he mentioned, to carry out the terror attack. He said the attack was linked to the land dispute between the Bauk and Tanmung clans and also mentioned some names as accomplices.
He was quickly jerked up by the residents when he went mute after the shocking revelations and detained several moments before being released to police after reconsidering a mob justice suggestion by other angry villagers.
The assemblyman for Najong 1 Electoral Area, Jarik Simon Biigaa said the man was talking about “something that has to do with the conflict in Sayoo community”.
“He said, ‘he is pouring this drink for those who passed away in Sayoo community and that those they just killed at Najong should feel relaxed, they should sleep and allow those who came and did that to them to also get their free chance and also do whatever they can do”.
“So if people have been shot and killed and don’t know who has done and you came to do this; as a normal human being if somebody should recite such incantations while wives and children are mourning every day, they don’t stop crying, if it is you what would you do?, so I told them do not do anything to him, this person can be a good lead”, Jarik Simon said he advised.
“We went for him, a young man aged around 30 and then later we transferred him to Tamale to continue investigation over there”, District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Stephen Delaport confirmed taking custody of the suspect to Starr News.
According to him, police played down the confession by the accused with suspicion it was uttered either under alcohol influence or a psychiatric disorder but residents resisted the police meditation effort compelling him to refer the situation to the Regional headquarters.
ASP Delaport who also watched the video said some of the names mentioned by the suspect as accomplices were already being investigated by the headquarters for a separate crime of attempted robbery.
“Those individuals he mentioned are not around. Some too, we arrested in connection with attempted robbery and sent to Tamale. That’s the same people he is mentioning but already they are in the hands of the police at Tamale”, the commander explained.
Detectives of the Regional command took the suspect into custody and said a probe was already underway. One of the investigators told the assemblyman, the suspect would be put before court last week, however, that didn’t happen and then the suspect release.
The suspect was only a week behind bars and has been released without a charge by the police who had claimed it invited personnel of the Homicide Unit to come down and help in investigating the crime.
The police did not conduct any psychiatric investigations about the suspect before releasing him despite the gravity of the matter.
Other security concerns
Past instances of police failures and recent miscalculation in the incident are providing fuel for critics of the police.
Starr News checks both at the headquarters and community didn’t find any proof of the presence of the national investigators.
The Regional Commander, DCOP Patrick Adusei Sarpong had said “if I say they came then what happened” when answering questions about the coming of the Homicide Unit, but the assemblyman discounted emphatically.
Chiefs and leaders of the community had said at a press conference in Tamale the gunmen were sponsored by some individuals of the Tanmung clan to target members of the Bauk clan in an aggression to drive them out from the Sayoo community where land dispute between the two has been raging.
The Northern Regional Police has recently witnessed a rising spate of attacks by residents on it personnel and infrastructures.
In the latest attacks, residents of Gbulungu trapped police officers with gunshots when they entered the community on a mission to rescue an alleged witch who was attacked by the townspeople. Residents damaged the vehicle of the police with stones and live bullets. One officer was seized by the people and assaulted.
Weeks later, Kporju villagers also attacked three Sawla police officers after they said mistook them as armed robbers. In that attack, one officer was hospitalized after he was tackled down by a theft suspect in a violent struggle after the suspect reportedly refused to abide by police orders to out from his room.