Wa ‘ritual’ murders: What we know so far



Residents of Wa Municipality in the Upper West Region have been living in fear with a rising spate of murders targeting private security officers.

The number of victims is inching towards a dozen, with the most recent having been discovered on Tuesday, September 20.

In five months, ten lives have been lost in bizarre circumstances to ‘serial killers’ in the region.

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Last Friday, some residents showed up in their numbers at the Technical Institute to protest the security situation in Wa.

Out of the ten people that have lost their lives, only three bodies have been found.

The police have ramped up efforts to arrest the situation and to assure the population of adequate security, which effort has seen the Inspector-General of Police, visit the region.

GhanaWeb chronicles some major events that have taken place so far with respect to the issue.

Body of latest victim discovered

The most recent victim of the killings was found near the Wa Senior High School according to a September 20 statement issued by the Upper West Regional Police Command.

According to the details, the yet-to-be-identified body was discovered by the special purpose intelligence and investigation team during surveillance on Monday, 19th September 2022.

This comes after one other body was uncovered by police at Bahamu during police surveillance on the same day.

The body has since been retrieved and deposited at the Regional Hospital morgue awaiting autopsy by a pathologist from the police hospital and a team of experts in Accra.

Police place GHC100,000 bounty on killers

The police have meanwhile placed a 100K bounty for information on the killings.

In a statement, the police said, “We continue to urge anyone with credible information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators to come forward and share with the Police. In line with this, a reward of GHC100,000 has been set aside for anyone who provides information in that regard”.

The police have however assured us that they are working hard to bring the perpetrators to book.

“The police continue to maintain law, order, and security in the Wa municipality and surrounding communities,” the statement issued on Monday, September 19, 2022, said.

“We wish to assure residents of the Wa municipality and its environs that the special intelligence and investigation teams will continue to work around the clock with assistance from the affected communities to bring the perpetrators to face justice. Operations and combat teams have also saturated the area to ensure the safety and security of all,” the statement added.

Wa Central MP concerned

Wa Central Member of Parliament, Rashid Pelpuo, has disclosed that the latest killings that had bedeviled the Upper West Regional capital were ritualistic in nature.

Whiles lamenting the growing distress that the killings were having on his constituents, Pelpuo said there was the need for police to step up intelligence to curb the situation.

He said perpetrators are after their victims for ritual purposes. “They are very ritualistic from what we have seen so far,” he said in an interview on Accra-based Citi FM on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

“In the case of today’s killing, the body was cut open, heart and kidneys removed, testes are also taken. I don’t know what they do with it, it is very terrible, terrible,” he added.

Police confirm the arrest of a prime suspect with help of locals

The probe into the killings received a major boost after Police apprehended a prime suspect on Monday, September 19.

The arrest of Kankani Adongo was said to have taken place through the collaboration of the locals and the Police at Bamahu, a community in the municipality.

The locals who reportedly spotted the suspect apprehended him and then took him to the palace of the Paramount Chief of the Wala Traditional Area who in turn informed the Police about the arrest of the suspect.

Head of the Public Affairs unit of the Regional Police Command, Chief Inspector Gideon Ohene Boateng in a statement on Monday said: “The Police have arrested one person believed to be the prime suspect behind the Wa murder case.

“Suspect Kankani Adongo was arrested on 19th September 2022 at Bamahu, a suburb of Wa after extensive collaboration between the Police and community search parties.

“Suspect is in custody and will be arraigned before the court to face justice,” the statement read in part.

IGP visits Wa

The Inspector-General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, on Monday, September 19 stormed the region to get first-hand information on the developments.

Speaking to the press afterward, the police chief reiterated the Service’s commitment to safeguarding the peace of the area adding that, the investigations were being carried out alongside other security agencies.

“We want to assure you that we’ll do all that we can to ensure that Wa Municipality and its environs are peaceful for all of you. The Police as the lead internal security agency is committed, very committed to working with the other security agencies that we’re already working with on the ground because the REGSEC includes all the security agencies on the ground and they’re the people who have been working on it until we also brought people from outside to come and support them. So all the security agencies are already part of the work we are doing.”

Interior Minister calls for calm, cooperation

Hon. Ambrose Dery, the Interior Minister and Member of Parliament for Nandom, while assuring that the security agencies were in control of the situation admonished the locals to limit their contribution to the investigations by providing relevant information to the Police rather than seeking to usurp the authority of the officers.

“The security agencies, the Ghana Police is in control of the situation. They, led by the IGP will investigate whatever has happened in the past and all. What I’m assuring the Wa Naa is that the security agencies so far are up to the task and we believe we’ll support them to do their work. It’s in their domain of investigating crime.

“But I did make it clear that in all these matters, the policy is for the rule of law to be enforced. If you have any information, you surrender it and give it to the security agencies to use.

“You do not resort to self-help or you usurp the role of the security agencies. That we have asked the Chief to thank the community for their passion to help, and for the information that they have been giving and continue to give.

“They would leave the real work to the Police. Only give them the information, don’t attack anybody, because if you attack anybody, you yourself will be a subject of investigations,” the minister warned.


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