……As Family Challenges Autopsy Report
By Cecil Mensah
A fourteen year- old pupil, was on Monday January 20, 2014, allegedly murdered in cold blood at their family residence in Amanfrom, adjacent JD Fast Foods and Restaurant, near Kasoa in the Central Region.
Master Elliot Nii Kakari Bannerman, was living with his foster father, Samuel Laryea, age 86, in the same house where he met his untimely death.
Master Bannerman, who was a class five pupil of the Future Builders International School, a school run by his foster father, was found dead in the wee hours of Monday in a well, which has been dug in the compound of the school.
The deceased, The Herald learnt, was found floating in the well, with blood dotted around, suggesting he was murdered, before dumped in the well.
The death, according to family sources, has reignited a longstanding marital feud between a sister of the deceased, Mrs. Janet Laryea, wife of Mr. Laryea, with whom the late Master Bannerman was living with, till his untimely death.
Janet told this paper that she had a little misunderstanding with her husband, and had to leave their matrimonial home, after several years of marriage.
According to her, when she was leaving the house, she decided to leave behind the 14-year old boy in the custody of her husband, to enable him (Elliot) continue with his education, since school was just about to reopen.
She explained that she felt it would be unwise to truncate the boy’s education, because he was already lagging behind in his academic activities. The next time she heard about the boy was news of his death from her husband.
There is controversy over the cause of death of the boy, with Janet and her family accusing Mr. Laryea of killing the boy in spite of an autopsy report dated Tuesday January 21, 2014, showing the boy died by drowning.
The autopsy report was certified by the Adjaben Magistrate Court in Accra.
In a hand written Post Mortem report numbered 132/ 2014, sighted by The Herald said, “Kakari Bannerman Elliot Nii, age 14 yrs, sex male”, had his cause of death as “I. Drowning”.
The post mortem was performed by one Dr. S. Quayson at the Department of Pathology, Korle –Bu Teaching Hospital, P.O .Box 77 Korle-Bu.
Subsequent to this, a coroner’s report was also issued. It read “Re Elliot Nii Kakari Bannerman deceased I hereby authorize the registrar of birth and death to issue his permit for the burial of the above named deceased now lying at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital Mortuary”. It was signed by one Isaac Addo ESQ.
But Janet and her family, are contesting the coroner’s report, claiming it was forged to shield the culprits involved in what they suspect is a barbaric murder of their son.
They claimed that the cause of death could not have been drowning, because Elliot lived on the same compound with other students who are boarders.
The family, argued that in spite of Elliot’s truancy, he could not easily drown in a well, unless there was a foul play.
When The Herald visited Mr. Samuel Laryea at his residence, he narrated how he had been good to the wife’s brother over the years. He denied killing the boy.
He said, he woke on the morning of the incident to see his main door opened with Elliot not in the room. He decided to look around for him as it was too early for him to be out.
He later saw Elliot’s slippers near the well. He went closer and to his dismay found Elliot’s lifeless body floating in the well and called other residents.
Later, the case was reported to the police at Ngleshie Amanfrom Station, who later came to retrieve the corpse from the well.
According to him, the estranged wife is making a meal of the situation by accusing him of murdering the boy he had lived with for 12 years.
According to him, the boy was brought to his compound when he was a little over two years. He questioned why he could not have murdered him at that stage of his life, until now.
He explained, how the family of the deceased treated him shabbily when he visited the family house at Agege 205, a suburb of Dansoman, in the company of his cousin, the popular Referee Laryea in spite of generosities he had shown to the family and his estranged wife.
The man, who will be eighty-seven years on April 23 this year, said he was shocked when his wedded wife in the company of her family members stormed his house and ransacked all his belongings, including his late mother’s bed which they had shared during their fun days.
With a heavy heart, he said his wife took away their marriage certificates and pictures, even though they were not divorced.
Janet and her family are contesting the coroner’s report, claiming it was forged to shield the culprits involved in the murder, since eyewitnesses have told them blood was seen dotted near the well.
When The Herald called Miss Gifty Adjei, the crime officer handling the case at Ngleshie-Amanfrom to find out the extent of the investigations, she rather invited this reporter over to the station for further clarifications, only to tell this reporter in the face that her boss, the Station Commander has travelled to Gomoa Nyanyanor in the Central Region.
She later directed this reporter to speak with her Divisional Commander at the SCC Divisional Police along the Kasoa –Accra Highway. More anon!!!!