The 1989 Abesim murder: How Nana Twene was executed


A throwback to a grim part of Ghana’s history sends us to a murder case in Abesim, in the then Brong Ahafo region in 1989.

The region is now partitioned into three following a 2017 referendum.

In that case, a pregnant woman called Lamle had been murdered in cold blood by the Krontihene of Abesim, Nana Twene. He was also an elder of the local Presbyterian church.

During the hearing of the matter at the regional tribunal in Sunyani, the adjutant, Lawyer K. F. Otu-Essel asked the packed tribunal, “What should I do with the culprits?” The response to his question by the crowd was “kill them.”

Nana Twene had admitted to the crime, by stating they needed the blood and body parts of a pregnant woman for some rituals. Within two weeks, the Chairman of the Brong Ahafo Regional Tribunal returned judgment on Nana Twene and his wife.

He was sentenced to death and immediately executed by firing squad. His lifeless body was tied to a moving truck for the public in his locale to see, before his burial. His wife was charged with abetment and sentenced to life in prison where she died later.

It is reported that the families of those executed have not been able to live down the stigma.

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