The Attorney General’s Department has officially endorsed a charge of murder preferred by the police against six boys who were arrested for their involvement in the unfortunate death of George Somuah Bosompem, the 57-year-old teacher of Asiakwa Salvation Army Basic School in the Abuakwa South Municipality in the Eastern Region.
As a result, the six suspects — Richard Amaning, 18; Mireku Emmanuel, 19; Philip Kodie, 19; Offei Frimpong, 19; Ezekiel Boadu, 20, and Evans Aboagye, alias Otega, 19 — have been committed to be tried for murder at a High Court in Koforidua.
A police source told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that they were getting a date from the court for the trial to commence because the AG’s Department had concluded its advice.
Since they were arrested, the suspects had been on remand in prison custody on the orders of the Kibi District Magistrate Court, where they were on preliminary trial.
At a point, the defence team led by Peter Nimo tried to push for the trial to be sent to a Juvenile Court because, according to him, the suspects are underage.
The prosecutor, Margaret Kontoh, rebutted and told the court presided over by Alice Efua Yirenkyi that further investigations showed that the suspects did not give their actual ages to the police when they were arrested.
She said the ages on their schools records were different from what they told the police.
The teacher died a few days in hospital after he was brutally beaten by the six boys who allegedly carried out ‘reprisal’ attack on him owing to a dispute over snails some three years ago.
In an audio recording by a colleague female teacher which surfaced after the sudden death, the teacher could be heard narrating how he suffered at the hands of the six boys.
The deceased is heard telling the female colleague that the incident happened in the night contrary to earlier reports. He stated categorically that the attack did not take place in the school garden as being speculated.
The deceased also disclosed that he never confronted the suspects.
He said on 25th April 2019 around 8pm, he informed his wife that he was going to pay money he borrowed from a colleague identified as Osofo Emmanuel, who lived across the school about 200 metres away.
According to him, he met a lady who lived with Osofo and inquired about his whereabouts.
He said he decided to urinate and in the process the suspects pounced on him, dragged him to one of the classrooms and beat him up mercilessly with some broken chairs.
He said the suspects told him he was being punished for what he did to them some three years ago over snails.
The teacher said the suspects also told him he was not the target and that they wanted to attack one OP and Justice both of whom are also teachers in the school.
The late Bosompem said that he shouted for help and the lady co-tenant rushed to inform one of the teachers, who quickly moved to rescue him with other residents.
He added that, fortunately, a police patrol team saw them at the scene and managed to arrest one of the suspects, Richard Amaning, who pretended to be helping him to get into a vehicle.
He said that he was able to inform the teacher who came to his rescue that Richard Amaning was part of the assailants but was pretending to be helping.
Prior to his death, the Religious and Moral Education teacher gave a police statement saying he did not travel to the Information Centre to warn the suspects to desist from defecating on the school compound as reported earlier.
It turned out that the six suspects are all former students of the Asiakwa Salvation Army Basic School, and four of them were said to have been sacked by the school authorities due to insubordination and stealing of snails on the school farm.
The sacked suspects were said to have been arrested by the Kyebi police three years ago after an investigation conducted by the deceased and two other teachers, but instead of prosecuting them, some opinion leaders intervened and the suspects were made to pay for the cost of the snails.
The late teacher, who was severely injured, was rushed to the Kyebi Government Hospital and admitted for three days but was later referred to St. Joseph Hospital, popularly called Roman in Koforidua, when his condition became critical.
He suffered fractured bones at his back and said on the audio that he was charged GH¢2,000 to undergo an intensive operation by the doctors in Koforidua.
From Daniel Bampoe, Koforidua