The year was 2014 the month of August, Friday 14th. The Chief of Ashalaja, lying north-west Accra accompanied by his close elders went to the Palace, daybreak, to perform some rituals for the women to start cooking “kpoikpoi” for Homowo.
While returning, leisurely, chatting and laughing, a group of factional discontents in the Royal family suddenly ambushed them and fell on the Chief, pulled him down brusquely and started KILLING him.
The principal bodyguard of the Chief, JOSHUA LARTEY, the Nii Oshippi of Ashalaja rushed to his house nearby, fetched a gun and fired, just in time to save the badly bruised semi unconscious chief from death.
They rushed him NII AKWANOR IV to 37 Military Hospital where doctors worked around the clock to save his life.
In the meantime stray bullets hit the principal attacker, husband of four wives and son of the principal challenger to the Chief called Adams Addy.
The attacker was rushed to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Amasaman Police Investigated the incident, Amasaman Divisional Police Command Investigated the incident, Greater Accra Regional Police Command Investigated the matter and finally Police Homicide Squad at Headquarters also investigated the matter.
Finally, NII OSHIPPI who fired the gun was arraigned before the High Court on a charge of MURDER. The Chief Nii Akwanor and 10 others were on the charge sheet for ABETMENT of CRIME to wit, MURDER.
By the Grace of God I got bail for all of them, and the criminal process started, still ONGOING. Two of the accused are dead, leaving 9. A jury has been empanelled, but the trial is yet to begin.
In March 2022 one Sunday evening Joshua Lartey, a fiery firebrand parked his car by the roadside in Ashalaja to urinate, and while busily urinating, a motor rider pulled up and sprayed him with bullets. Joshua Lartey Nii Oshippi of Ashalaja fell to death instantly.
After keeping him in the morgue for ONE full year the Family decided to bury him on Saturday 4th March 2023.
The 42 year old dare devil Joshua was my personal friend and my client, 1st Accused in the murder case. This was one funeral I could not miss for any reason.
In view of the way he was killed, there was tension in Ashalaja. The community was draped with red flags and the Head of family made me write letters to the Army Commander, the IGP, Minister of National Security and Minister of Interim.
Come Saturday 4th March 2023 I left the house at 8am for Ashalaja, with my father in law’s daughter apprehensive – “Captain be careful…….” I told her not to worry, God is in control.
Upon arrival in Ashalaja I saw a very heavy police Check Point, fully armed, checking every passenger in every car. I got to the Head of Family House and we all finally trooped to the funeral grounds as late as 11am.
There were soldiers everywhere, uniformed armed police and plain clothes National Security operators. On hand to provide music was 5BN band, PINK FIVES.
When the soldiers saw me, they broke into my personal anthem, rendered by some talented female military vocalist who received so much money splashed on her, as she sang a long “M’twen Awurade Anim…..”
Late in the afternoon, at about 2:30pm, a large cortege of about a hundred wild looking youths brought the casket containing the mortal remains of JOSHUA LARTEY. The coffin was yellow, designed as a crown, with royal sippers on top of it.
After a very short funeral service which did not last more than 30 minutes, majority of which time was devoted to collection of “CHARITY” then came the rituals performed openly.
I was told that an OSHIPPI never dies, so they have to strip him of the rank of OSHIPPI and bury him without the title. A live sheep was brought and amidst firing of heavy musketry, the sheep was slaughtered and the blood sprinkled on the coffin all round.
It was now 4:30pm and the wild looking youths picked up the cadaver for the Royal Mausoleum nearby.
Interesting enough, among the many mourners present was the local executives of the ruling New Patriotic Party who were introduced by the MC. Very conspicuously absent at this funeral was the man he saved by firing a bullet resulting in his being 1st Accused on a charge of MURDER.
At 5pm Nii Solomon Mintah Ackaah Head of Family rose up, together with all his elders and returned to the family House for “item 13!!!”
Farewell, my friend, Joshua Lartey. Your two wives who were all in black seated at the funeral will never forget you.
Written by Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey