Unknown persons at the Tafo Cemetery in Kumasi have desecrated the tomb of the late Mr Joe Appiah, a renowned politician and statesman who died 18years ago.
Family members were shocked on Tuesday morning as they discovered that the tomb had been desecrated.
A cleaner was going to clean the tomb when he discovered that it has been broken into from one of the edges.
However that of his wife, Peggy Appiah, who died two years ago, which lay next to his husband’s tomb was not touched.
An inspection of the tomb revealed that the casket had been opened with the cover lying sideways. The bones had been scattered and some parts of them were missing, together with jewellery and a rich kente cloth which were used in burying him in 1990.
The skull together with parts of the bones and a blanket which the bones laid on were however intact, except that they were scattered in the casket.
A shocked Ms Abena Appiah, one of the daughters of the late statesman described the act as disgraceful.
She wondered why someone would attack the tomb of her father after 18 years saying, “This is indicative of the act of wicked minds”.
“It is pathetic as it makes it look like a restage of his whole death”, Abena told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi.
The matter has since been reported to the Police and investigations have been instituted into it.
Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko of the Police Public Relations Unit confirmed to the Daily Graphic that investigations had been instituted into the matter.
He said the family members claimed that some jewellery they used in burying the late statesman were missing.
Some people in Kumasi have however attributed other sinister motives to the whole incident saying it goes beyond ordinary robbery.
Some have read political motives into it saying whoever took the bones was probably going to use it for juju so as to be able achieve political victory.
“You know, this is an election year. Anything can happen”, an auto mechanic at the Tafo cemetery said.
The Tafo cemetery has no security at night and has no fence wall as well.
Thieves quite often break into the graveyard at night, open the tombs and steal just any items they can lay their hands on.
The Cistern of the cemetery, Mr Frimpong told the police after this latest incident that he was unable to stop criminals from going there because he was the only person around.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly had, on numerous occasions, announced plans of fencing the cemetery so as to stop it from being used as a hideout for criminals.
“People under the cover of darkness walk out of the place with caskets and other items on their heads," an elderly man, who resides near the cemetery, said.
The late Joe Appiah was a Ghanaian statesman and politician who was born in 1918 and died in 1990. He had relations with the Manhyia Palace and was closely involved with the West African Students' Union (WASU), eventually becoming its president in the United Kingdom.
Through his involvement with WASU, he came to know many of the main players in the fight against imperial rule in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa among whom were Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President to whom he became very close.
Dr Nkrumah was Joe Appiah's first choice for best man at his wedding to Mrs Peggy Appiah (nee Peggy Cripps) a British Royal in 1953. Mrs Appiah, who died in 2006 has her tomb next door to her husband at the Tafo Cemetery.
Joe Appiah, a renowned lawyer and his young family returned to Ghana in late 1954.
Soon after, his friendship with Dr Nkrumah was ruined; he joined the National Liberation Movement (NLM) party and won the Atwima-Amansie seat in 1957.
After the coup that overthrew Nkrumah in 1966, he was asked to explain the new regime's motives to Ghana's friends and neighbours. Joe Appiah was intermittently involved in public life as a diplomat and a government minister from then on until his retirement in 1978.
He returned to Kumasi, where he continued to fulfil his duties as a clan elder. He was remarkable for the consistency of his moderate nationalism, his Pan-Africanism, his cosmopolitanism and the steadying role he played in post-independence Ghanaian politics. His autobiography is an important source for the late colonial/early post-colonial period in Africa.