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48-year-old Achimota School tutor allegedly commits suicide

The Accra Regional Police Command has begun investigations into the death of a 48-year-old physics tutor at the Achimota Senior High School in Accra.

The deceased, Clifford Nkrumah, allegedly committed suicide and was found hanging on the ceiling in his room on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

The police have since deposited the body at the Police Hospital for autopsy.

The Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, DSP Juliana Obeng who confirmed the news said “the incident happened yesterday [Thursday] in the school. He was found hanging on the ceiling in his room”.

She assured that the team has begun its investigations to determine the actual cause of death.

Suicide records

The WHO has shown that a person dies every 40 seconds by suicide worldwide, with 25 more people attempting suicide.

This puts the data of persons dying averagely per year to suicide at approximately 800,000.

Director-General at the Mental Health Authority, Dr Kwasi Osei, stated in 2019 that an NGO pegged suicide deaths in Ghana at 1,500 deaths per annum.

Dr Osei has been championing the allocation of more funds to deal with mental health in Ghana. He also highlighted the need to introduce mental health levy.

He is also advocating the approval of a mental health levy to cater for the high cost of treatment.

  • 15-year-old commits suicide at School’s dining hall

Leticia Kyere Pinaman of Miracle Preparatory and Junior High School at Sunyani, in the Bono Region, reportedly committed suicide on Monday, May 17.

The deceased was found hanging dead at the school’s dining hall by her colleagues at about 6:30 pm.

Circumstances leading to her death was not immediately known, but it happened while the students were at the church auditorium for bible studies.

Pinaman is said to have left a suicide note on a table, which supposedly stated: “I am not happy, this world is full of sorrow and pain, I can’t live anymore and I want to die”.

  • Taxi driver commits suicide after allegedly stabbing wife

A 38-year-old taxi driver Kojo Kum popularly known as One Stone poisoned himself to death after he allegedly stabbed his wife Adwoa Adiza who also died.

The Taxi driver reportedly took poisonous drugs to kill himself.

An eyewitness, Fred Abaja said on Tuesday evening, July 6, around 8:30 PM, three visitors came to the brother of the deceased, and asked about the location of his sister but they were told she has gone to the market for her business.

The visitors then prompted that his sister had been stabbed to death by her husband. The visitors were CID Officers.

They all went to the house and found out that Adiza had indeed been stabbed in the middle of her breast with the knife stuck in there.

  • Police officer allegedly shoots himself

On January 30, 2021, the District Commander of Half-Asini, Superintendent of Police (SP) Cyprian Zenge, allegedly committed suicide.

Mr Zenge is reported to have shot himself in the head at about 7 am on Saturday, January 30.

He is believed to have snapped his own life with a pistol at his home.

A suicide note at the scene read:” I am fed up in this world”. The pistol was found beside the body and one spent bullet shell under the seat.

  • Two commit suicide after misunderstanding with lovers

Two persons are said to have committed suicide by hanging, following misunderstandings with their respective lovers on Thursday and Saturday at Agbagblakope and Agblekpui, suburbs of Aflao, in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region.

The deceased, Julius Sewor, aged 25, was found hanging after his wife quarreled with him for not taking care of her and their baby.

The other victim, Bertha Aba, 19, was discovered by some children just hours after she told her suspected boyfriend that she was pregnant for him.

The Aflao District Police Crime Officer, Eric Vondee, said his outfit had the first report at about 05:45 am on Thursday October 17, that the body of an adult male, identified as Julius Sewor, has been found hanging on a tree at Agbagblakope.

In the second case, Mr. Vondee said relatives of the lady, who lived in the same house with her at Agblekpui, reported of her hanging herself at about 12:30pm on Saturday October 19.

He said according to the relatives, they over heard the lady, at about 11:00am same day in a telephone conversation with the suspected boyfriend, telling him she was pregnant for him.

According to the relatives, after dropping the phone, the deceased picked a rope as if to draw water from the well, at which juncture they left for a funeral in Aflao, where they were informed hours later that her body was found hanging about 500 meters from their house.

The law on attempted suicide

Meanwhile, a case has been brought before the Supreme Court of Ghana by a private legal practitioner to have the highest body of jurisprudence re-interpret Ghana’s criminalisation of attempted suicide.

Currently, under Act (1960) Act 29, specifically Section 57 (2), is stated that “whoever attempts to commit suicide shall be guilty of a misdemeanour”. A misdemeanour may be minor wrongdoing but is still a crime in Ghanaian law books and thus punishable.

This is an entrenched clause that leaves little to no room for a judge’s discretion.

But Christian Lebrecht Malm-Hesse, an associate of legal firm K-Archy and Co, wants to see attempted suicide decriminalised. Malm-Hesse’s writ was filed on May 8, 2021, and has been greeted with modest media appreciation although the argument is not new.

Malm-Hesse wants the Supreme Court to declare that there is no criminal intention or mens rea with respect to the commitment of an unsuccessful attempt. The lawyer would also like to see “attempt to commit suicide”, that is section 57 (2) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 ACT 29, amended and to that extent, expunged.

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