Six men have been arrested in connection with the slashing of the neck of a 70-year-old man at Teshie in Accra.
The men, aged 28 to 74, include Joseph Ashikwei Tijany, Daniel Ashitei Okoe, Philip Boye and Nii Agoe Kaastso, all drivers.
The others are Nii Armah Agbeko, mason, and Michael Ashiboy Armah, businessman.
Disagreement over burial grounds
Speaking to journalists Wednesday, the Teshie District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr Simon Agbodeka, said the victim, whose name has been withheld, is a family member of the suspects and lived at Teshie Camp II, while the suspects are residents of Teshie Bush Road.
He said during the time of making arrangements for the funeral of the acting Djasetse of Lenshie, Nii Armah Jerry, a faction of the family, led by an elder, Nii Kwabotwe, protested against the burial of the deceased at the Lenshie Royal Cemetery.
“This brought confusion between the members of family and, on April 24, 2014, the Municipal Chief Executive invited the two sides to a meeting at LEKMA to discuss the issue,” he said.
At the meeting, the victim was threatened by Nii Kaastso, an elder of the family, who was said to have told the victim that he was not a member of the family but was parading himself as such.
According to the Teshie Police Commander, Nii Kaastso also threatened that “if the victim was not careful, his head would be cut off and put on a plate for display at Teshie”.
He said the threat on the life of the victim led to a confrontation and the leaders at the meeting had to intervene to calm down both sides.
About 7:30 a.m. the next day, the victim received a call from a group of young men he had instructed to dig a grave for the burial of the deceased traditional leader.
The grave diggers, Mr Agbodeka said, informed the victim that some followers of one of the family elders called Nii Kwabotwe had attacked them.
The complainant was said to have rushed to the scene to find out what was happening.
At the cemetery, the commander said, one of the suspects, Agbeko, stood on the wall of the cemetery and engaged in an argument with the grave diggers.
The four other suspects — Tijany, Okoe, Ashiboy Armah and Boye — who were also in the cemetery, tried to prevent the men from digging the grave.
Struggle at cemetery
He said before the victim could get to the graveside, the four suspects, who were in the cemetery, abandoned their scuffle with the grave diggers and rushed towards him and tried to prevent him from getting near.
In the course of the struggle, Tijany, who stood behind the victim, drew a kitchen knife from his pocket and slashed the neck of the 70-year-old man.
The victim sustained a deep cut from the jaw down to the throat and was said to have bled profusely.
The police commander said apart from Agbeko, the other suspects just looked on while the man shouted for help.
Agbeko, with the help of the grave diggers and some good Samaritans at the cemetery, rushed the victim to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital where he was admitted.
Arrest of suspects
Subsequently, a complaint was made to the police, which led to the arrest of the six suspects on May 19, 2014.
Even though the suspects denied the allegation in their statements to the police, they were charged after the police had concluded their investigations.