On June 30, 1982, three judges of the High Court and a retired army officer were abducted and gruesomely murdered on the night of their abduction at the Bundase Military Range in the Accra Plains.
The deceased were Justice Fred Poku Sarkodee, Justice Cecilia Koranteng- Addow, Justice Kwadwo Agyei- Agyepong and Major Acquah.
This was during the time of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) where a Special Investigation Board (SIB) was formed with former Chief Justice Samuel Azu Crabbe was the chairman of the board investigating the murders.
Two names were always synonymous when these stories of Ghana’s ‘dark days’ is being told, thus, the leaders of the then PNDC – Jerry John Rawlings, who was the Chairman of PNDC and Captain Kojo Tsikata, his Security Advisor.
When the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) was established in January 2002 by the Parliament of Ghana, the goal of the commission was to establish an “accurate, complete and historical record of violations and abuses of human rights inflicted on persons by public institutions and holders of public office during periods of unconstitutional government.”
The Commission covered human rights violations in Ghana from 1957 to 1993. It looked among others into government abuses and military coups staged by former President Jerry John Rawlings. The members of the Commission worked until the end of 2004.
Captain Kojo Tsikata, when he appeared before the commission said, regarding the murder of the three judges and an ex-military officer, people keep alleging that he was a “conspirator” in the crime.
“For the past twenty years, I have been living under the pain of having these allegations made against me, year in, year out, until today [when he appeared before the NRC] and I have done my best this morning to demonstrate to this commission why I believe that SIB after they issued their initial report on November 6, began political conspiracy against me. I can’t precisely say why but I believe because of the actions that we took and the circumstances of the time, they were determined to have me removed from my position in the government, to discredit me and thereby discredit the government and prepare for the overthrow of the government.
“I have named the people who I believe took part in this conspiracy; [thus] members of the Board, Justice Azu Crabbe…Those who helped them were some members of the police group attached to them…who took that famous statement which the SIB referred to as the historic statement of November 23, 1982, and of course Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah for the reasons that I have given you regarding the circumstances under which he knew beforehand what Amartey Quaye was going to say in his statement of November 23.
“Mr Chairman, I’m just pleading to you; members of this commission to make available here, persons that I have named so that I can look them in the eye and ask them certain questions about how they came to engage themselves in such an elaborate frame-up which nearly cost my life.
“After all, this commission has given its platform to an international con man – Mr Chris Asher – who came here raved and ranted for two hours, making all sorts of allegations against me and I’m just pleading to give some opportunity for me also to question these people,” Captain Tsikata stressed.
Watch Captain Kojo Tsikata speaking about the murder of the judges and military officer in the video below: