By Larry-Alans Dogbey
The ex-Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), who left the shores of Ghana to work with the International Police Organization (Interpol) headquarters in France under some very interesting circumstances, is in town. Insiders say he is back trying to work his way into Ghana Police Service uniform.
Mr. David Asante-Apeatu was caught by The Herald’s undercover agents in the wee hours of last week Friday at the Alisa Hotel at North Ridge, Accra, in the company of a friend.
The two, who had stayed late in the luxurious hotel, left in a silver-coloured Octavia vehicle. Hotel sources reveal that the ex-CID boss is a regular visitor to the hotel.
He left Ghana to Interpol headquarters under strange circumstances said to have been hugely engineered by the ex-IGP, Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, who was said to be afraid that Mr. Asante-Apeatu who had become so popular within the NPP circles, was going to replace him as IGP. Mr. Acheampong was linked to Issah Abbas, one of the three persons arrested with Kwabena Amaning alias Tagor at the MV Benjamin Cocaine disappearance probe.
There are reports at the Police Headquarters that Mr. Asante-Apeatu felt unsafe and had to flee the shores of Ghana to join Interpol at a time when his services were not needed. Interpol is said to have pointed out at the time that it was not in a position pay him a US$30,000 monthly salary. For this reason, the government of Ghana had to cough up the said amount each month, just to keep him in France.
Mr. Asante-Apeatu has been involved in some of high-profile crimes as lead investigator, but the cases are still unresolved after many years.
They include the murder of the Overlord of Dagbon Traditional Area, Ya- Na Yakubu Andani II, the serial killings of 34 Ghanaian women, the murder of the bodyguard of the ex-Chief of Defense Staff in Burma Camp, Accra, and the disappearance of 77 parcels of cocaine from the shipping vessel MV Benjamin at the Tema Habour.
Also on the long list of the unresolved cases are the murder of the ex-Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Commercial Bank, Mr. RokoFrimpong and the then Head of Security at the Bank of Ghana, DSP Stephen Arizona Donkor. The two were separately murdered in cold blood by armed men who did not fetch a pin from their houses.
A ballistic expert with a degree in Chemistry from the Soviet Union, Mr. Asante-Apeatu took part in some of these investigations when he was not a senior officer, yet he was promoted over others to be CID boss.
*Ya- Na Murder*
In the case of the Ya-Na, shortly after the gruesome murder of the respected traditional head, the ex-CID boss, then a Chief Superintendent, was sent to Yendi in the Northern Region to investigate claims that sophisticated weapons were used by the gunmen who stormed the Gbewaa Palace and beheaded the chief.
Reports were that some of the gunmen were mercenaries hired from Liberia by Major (rtd) Sulemana Abubakari who was also working with Ghana’s National Security outfit.
Mr. Asante-Apeatu is captured in the Wuako Commission Report, confirming that indeed, powerful weapons were used in the attack on the Gbewaa Palace.
When he became CID boss, no new person was arrested over the crime apart from those identified by Wuako Commission, although several Ministers of the Interior, including Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Albert Kan-Dapaah and Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor who served in the Kufuor regime, kept telling the public that the police were making inroads and were in the process of effecting arrest.
The ex-CID boss, as a Police Superintendent, led the investigations into the heinous murder of some 34 Ghanaian women in what became known as the Accra Serial Killings. He was then at the Police Forensic Laboratory in Accra.
The only suspect, Mr. Charles Quansah, who was arrested and sentenced to death by hanging, has denied his involvement in the killings, and insists that he is a victim of judicial chicanery perpetrated by the Police, a malleable Justice Agnes Dodzie, and a gullible Ghanaian media.
Charles Quansah mentions that Mr. Asante-Apeatu, Hanson Gove and one Inspector Onipa, as having subjected him to hours of torture by electric shocks and hot iron to falsely admit killing the 34 women.
In defense, David Asante -Apeatu rather blew sums of the taxpayers’ money to put up a fake video documentary on the serial killings which was leaked to the Daily Guide newspaper and serialized as news articles. Charles Quansah’s role in the video was acted by someone although the ex-CID boss had claimed that the killer had confessed to the killings.
Meanwhile, Mr. Joseph O. Amui, Quansah’s lawyer, has long told this reporter that his client does not have the capacity to single-handedly kill a goat let alone human beings and scatter them in the Accra metropolis as happened at the time.
*Assassination of Bodyguard of CDS*
Staff Sergeant Kyere, a bodyguard of the Chief of Defense Staff, Lt-General J .B. Danquah, was shockingly found dead with a gaping bullet wound behind his head with pistol by his side.
None other than CID boss Asante-Apeatu was personally called in to investigate the matter, and within days, the death, mostly held in Burma Camp to be an assassination, was declared a mere suicide, a claim which has since been disputed.
With a change of government in 2009, the National Security, under Larry Gbevlo-Lartey and the National Security Adviser, Gen. Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, started probing the death, and even halted Staff Sergeant Kyere’s burial but something fruitful is yet to come out.
77 parcels of cocaine were smuggled into Ghana on a shipping vessel called MV Bejamin. The huge quantities of drugs disappeared into thin air, and till date, nobody knows where the drugs went.
Two persons who were arrested and convicted, were later set free as the basis upon which they were convicted – a tape recording- was described as flawed by the Court of Appeal, and till date, the whereabouts of the cocaine is still on the lips of the public.
*The Murders of Roko Frimpong and the Chief Security of the Bank of Ghana*
Most people, including family members, have attributed these two murders to assassins with claims that the two were privy to some damning information during the re-denomination exercise (the conversion of the old cedi to the new Ghana cedi). Roko Frimpong and DSP Stephen Arizona Donkor were killed in their homes by armed gangs. The gangs stormed their (victims) homes in Tema and Gbawe respectively, and pumped several rounds of bullets into them and only took their mobile phones away. Many rewards announced by the police for anybody with information on the murders, did not bear any fruit.
Indeed, it was during the tenure of Mr. Asante-Apeatu as CID boss, that the famous expression “Contract Killings” emerged in Ghanaian Politics.
It is not yet clear whether he played any role in the investigation of the *murder of AlhajiIssa Mobila* who was killed in the Military Barracks at Tamale after the 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Source: Dogbey, Larry-Alans