Public executions may no longer be as fashionable today as they were in the early years after Ghana’s independence in 1957 but it does not mean that the wheels of justice today have completely become more lenient.
In a rare video sighted on the @GhanaianMusuem Twitter page, it shows the footage of the public execution of two men who were involved in the abortive coup of 1967.
This was the same coup, known as the Operation Guitar Boy, that killed Gen. E.K. Kotoka in the process.
Lt. Sam Arthur and Lt. Moses Yeboah were on April 17, 1967 Killing Gen E.K. Kotoka in the Process. They were sentenced to death on May 5, 1967 and the officers were executed on May 9, 1967.
In a report published in Dawn, on April 18, 2017 on the event of April 17, 1967, titled, “An attempt to overthrow Ghana’s military rulers, in power since they deposed President Kwame Nkrumah 14 months ago, was foiled today [April 17],” it reads:
Leaders of Ghana’s ruling National Liberation Council announced that they had arrested members of a military junta which claimed four hours earlier that it had seized power and deposed members of the Council.
Mr J.W. Harlley, Vice-Chairman of the Council and one of the leaders of the anti-Nkrumah coup in February last year, went on the air late in the morning to declare that the coup “by a small section of the army’s reconnaissance unit” had been foiled.
He said those officers who had taken part in the abortive coup had been arrested and the soldiers under their command disarmed.
The military junta, headed by a paratroop officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Assasie, announced that it had seized power at dawn today.
It said it had disbanded the National Liberation Council and called on its members to report to army headquarters. But the coup was apparently short lived.
By 3 p.m. WPST the Government had announced it was firmly in power and Mr Harlley, who is also Inspector General of Police, said commanders of the three armed services, Army, Navy and Air Force had announced their support for the Liberation Council.
He appealed to Ghanaians to remain calm and return to work.
Accra itself was calm today and there were no signs of any demonstrations.
Before the announcement of the failure of the coup, hundreds of people had gathered near the Christiansborg castle, seat of the National Liberation Council which has governed Ghana since an army coup deposed President Kwame Nkrumah in February last year.
Footage of Public execution of Lt. Sam Arthur & Lt. Moses Yeboah who were involved in an abortive coup (Operation Guitar Boy) on April 17, 1967 Killing Gen E.K. Kotoka in the Process. They were sentenced to death on May 5, 1967 and the officers were executed on May 9, 1967. pic.twitter.com/pFH6womqU7
— GHANA FACTS & HISTORY (@GhanaianMuseum) April 20, 2021