The family is the smallest and most fundamental social unit, as well as the most important primary group in any society.
For many, family members are their sources of protection, safety and security. But for others, their attackers and killers turned out to be family members.
From defilement to physical assaults and murders, The Ghana Report takes a look at crimes that were committed within the family.
- Man kills brother over GH¢10
A 50-year-old man killed his 48-year-old brother after a heated argument at Kuano in the Eastern Region.
The brothers, who are known to be heavy drinkers, reportedly got into a fight over GH¢10 after a drinking spree.
According to eyewitnesses, the victim, Tetteh Kwaku, allegedly accused his elder brother, Moses Tetteh, of stealing his money on Sunday, September 10, 2023.
The confrontation quickly escalated into a physical fight between the siblings.
Moses Tetteh, who sustained cutlass wounds in the fight, grabbed a nearby wooden pestle and struck his brother on the neck and jaw killing him.
- Uncle beheads 3-year-old nephew at Sege
The suspect, 21-year-old Obed Kabutey, is the brother of the victim’s mother.
He reportedly went for the little boy on the evening of September 6 to buy noodles for him.
The family later discovered the beheaded body of the little boy in a kitchen after Kabutey confessed to killing him.
- Man kills niece for money rituals
In August 2023, a 37-year-old farmer, Augustine Afari, killed his seven-year-old niece for money ritual purposes at Wassa Nkyirifi in the Western Region.
The victim, Spendylove Adjei was reportedly left in the care of her uncle after she fell ill and couldn’t go to school on the said day.
The suspect said a spiritualist told him to bring a human head – that is the head of one of his nieces for money ritual so he could evade poverty.
From there, he went in for Sandy and killed her. After killing and beheading her, he buried the headless body and concealed the head for the process.
The suspect then went further to make public announcements on the radio asking for help to locate his niece.
The police, however, suspected foul play because of his responses during interrogation.
He later burst into tears and confessed that he had killed the niece.
- Man kills visually impaired uncle
A mentally ill man, Nayo Annor, killed his visually impaired uncle, Kwaku Emmanuel, at Nuaso, a town in Lower Manya Krobo in the Eastern region on Sunday, August 13, 2023.
The victim was eating when Nayo violently attacked him with a machete and inflicted wounds to his neck and other body parts, killing him instantly.
But for the intervention of the police, the locals would have lynched him.
- Mother burns daughter with hot iron over missing money
On June 18, 2023, a 31-year-old mother was arrested for burning her 12-year-old daughter with a hot iron over missing GH¢5.
According to reports, the mother had sent her daughter to buy local gin, known as akpeteshie, and cigarettes, with the money.
Unfortunately, she lost the money on her way and returned home without the items.
Enraged by the scenario, the mother plugged in an electric iron and slammed it violently against the victim’s chest, causing burns on her breast.
- Man kills mother on Mother’s Day
A 21-year-old identified as Tafari Abednego Thompson, killed his 59-year-old mother, Madam Mwassa Tafari at Obosomase-Akuapem in the Eastern Region.
The incident happened on Sunday, May 14, incidentally a Mother’s Day.
The suspect inflicted multiple wounds on his mother with a metal object, disfiguring her face..
After committing the heinous crime, the suspect allegedly fled into the nearby bush but was apprehended by the youth in the area.
- The woman who repeatedly burned her niece with a hot iron
In May 2023, social workers in Ho took a nine-year-old girl into care after she was burnt with a hot-pressing iron by her paternal aunt with whom she lived for two years.
The basic schoolgirl was allegedly asked to sell soya kebab on the street every morning before going to school and failure to make good sales warranted various forms of physical torture by her aunt.
The torture was said to have taken an extreme turn on Friday, May 5 when she returned from selling.
This time, her aunt accused her of stealing GHc50. Out of anger, she grabbed a hot pressing iron and burnt the legs and hand of the girl who bore the excruciating pain in silence.
She was spotted by the Ho Municipal Social Welfare Unit Head, Wisdom Krakani, who initially approached her to find out why she was not in school that morning.
That led to the discovery of the wounds on her body, prompting more questions from the social worker and leading to the arrest of the girl’s 62-year-old aunt Margaret Gafa.
- Carpenter kills mother and grandfather
A 90-year-old man, Tenge Sodzado, and his 40-year-old daughter-in-law, Rita Agbabli Tenge, were brutally killed on Thursday, December 1, 2022.
The suspect was no other than Rita’s son, Alex Tenge, a carpenter at Okorase in the Eastern region.
He reportedly beheaded his grandfather and butchered his mother in the compound of the house when she tried raising an alarm.
The suspect, after his arrest told the police that he committed the heinous crime after drinking Sobolo laced with marijuana.
- Man kills his mother and two sisters
A 20-year-old man, Anthony Yendor reportedly murdered his mother and two sisters in Tampaala, a suburb of Jirapa in the Upper West Region after he returned from a drinking spot on August 28, 2022.
He pounded them to death with a pestle he grabbed from his mother’s kitchen.
Anthony also injured his eight-month-old nephew who was strapped to one of his sisters’ back during the onslaught on her.
Some neighbours of the family rushed to the compound to overpower him when they heard the commotion.
He was subsequently handed over to the police.
- Man defiles and impregnates his 2 nieces
In February 2023, Kobina Appiah, 32, fled Agona Abodom in the Central Region, leaving behind his wife and children after allegedly defiling and impregnating his two nieces.
The victims are said to be 14 and 16 years old.
The mother of the underaged girls explained that she left her daughters in the care of her younger brother to undergo emergency surgery.
According to her, she had no idea of the ordeal until the girls were confirmed pregnant.
Upon questioning, they both pointed at their uncle as responsible for their pregnancies. They explained that the uncle gave them alcoholic beverages to get them drunk, while he laced their drinks with sleeping pills at other times.
The mother of the victims, Afua Yeboah, reported the matter to the police despite pleas by relations to settle at home.
- Man Arrested For Shooting Brother
In February 2023, a man in his late 40s was arrested for shooting his brother dead at Bowohomoden, in the Western Region.
The man, identified as Kofi Essoun, was a popular hunter in the community.
Reports indicated that Kofi shot an animal on his daily hunting expedition. He went to the spot to pick up his animal, only for him to see the lifeless body of his brother.