George Abanga, a radio reporter also known as "King George," was shot dead at close range on his way back from reporting on a dispute among cocoa farmers, according to news reports.
Abanga, a 35-year-old radio reporter for independent Success FM based in Goaso, a town in south-western Ghana, and Peace FM, an independent station based in the capital, Accra, was returning home by motorcycle from the nearby town of Sankore when he was attacked, news reports said. Abanga had told his editor at Success FM he was investigating an alleged dispute among cocoa farmers and workers, according to reports.
At least two Ghanaian news outlets said the motive for the attack could have been either Abanga’s reporting on cocoa farming or his recent reports on regional political tensions.
Superintendent Alahaji Mahama Arhin said police initially suspected the journalist died during a robbery, according to reports. In later reports, he said police were treating Abanga’s death as a murder. Colleagues of Abanga disputed claims he was a victim of a robbery, and said his wallet, two cell phones, and his motorcycle were not taken in the attack, according to reports.
Police are still investigating, according to reports.
A man was reported to have turned himself into police in September 2015, claiming he murdered Abanga and that he was being haunted by the journalist’s ghost. Local reports said police were investigating whether the man had any connection to the case.
On January 24, 2019, Oppong Nkrumah, Ghana’s minister of information, told CPJ that he was not aware of the details surrounding Abanga’s shooting in 2015. Ghanaian police spokesperson David Senanu Eklu on February 7, 2019, told CPJ that authorities have not arrested anyone in Abanga’s case and that the investigation is ongoing. Augustine Kingsley Oppong, chief inspector and police public relations officer for Brong Ahafo, the region where Abanga was killed, told CPJ in February 2019 that he was committed to getting to the bottom of Abanga’s murder.