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The man who tormented the people of Northen Ghana.


Johnson kombian alias Garkum was born into a family of kombian in nakpanduri in the North-East region of Ghana. 

He was born into a family of farmers and “pinto brewers”. He dropped out of school at class six and joined a gang of local area boys who where truants and…

recalcitrant students.  

He was remounted to have had magical powers which help he and his gang rob and steal from the local community business persons.

His huge physique made the community fear him. He could threaten to rob you and true to his words he’ll attack you at night and make away with your monies. 

Johnson Kombian was a notorious convicted armed robber who escaped from prison custody on three occasions, and carried…

out a spree of robberies and violent attacks on Ghanaians in a number of communities in the Northern and Upper East Regions, causing grievous bodily harm to many of them.

His name became popular and his name became a household name for thieves and stubborn people. His delima started when he together with his gang robbed a man and his family of their hard earn money alongside a 3 batterry tape record.

The matter was reported to the nankpabduri chief palace who then summoned him before his elders but Johnson gave them no hearing ear and rejected their invitation.

The police also positively identified Kombian as either the person solely responsible for committing a spate of…

crimes, especially, the snatching of motorcycles at gun-point in the Nakpanduri Scarp and the surrounding areas, or being the mastermind behind various violent criminal activities and other orchestrated acts of intimidation and terror in the Northern and Upper East regions,…

particularly, the Garu-Tempane-Bawku areas. Kombian became the subject of close police intelligence monitoring and clandestine surveillance for a period of time – all of which efforts had been aimed at arresting him.

This monitoring led to his arrest and subsequent prosecution by the police where he was given five (5) years jail sentence.

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On 15th January, 2010, at about 4:00 a.m., convict prisoner Johnson Kombian was found to have escaped from the lawful prison custody.

At the time of his escape, the convict prisoner was also facing trial in a number of cases, including robbery, attempted murder, possession of firearms without lawful authority, escaping from lawful custody, failing to report on license, stealing etc.

According to reports, when Kombian’s escape from prison custody was detected, it was observed that the ventilation hole, made of wire mesh of Cell ‘A’ where the convict was locked up, had been broken and the debris of the wall packed in the cells.

The leg iron, which was used to shackle the convict prisoner, was also found opened, but there was no physical damage caused to suggest that the prisoner forced the leg iron open. All efforts made after the convict’s escape by both the prison authorities and the police to…

re-capture him went futile.

johnson kumbian

After some time, the police received information from Nakpanduri which indicated that he had re-surfaced in the village, and had threatened to kill the police personnel who caused or facilitated the arrest, which culminated in his conviction.

In fact, he even sent text messages to some senior police officers, including Regional Commanders, threatening to kill them. 

On October 17, 2010, the Kombian and his accomplices received information that a number of policemen had been detailed to perform duties at the…

Nakpanduri Scarp. 

Kombian and his accomplices however ambushed and attacked three policemen. 

They fired gunshots at the policemen who were then on a motorbike. The policemen fell into a 10-metre long valley.

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Kombian and his group continued to fire sporadically into the valley, with the hope of killing the policemen, who also retaliated with occasional gun fire. 

After some minutes of firing, Kombian and his gang stopped, and on realizing that the gunshots had ended,…

one of the police officers, Agyare and his colleagues mistakenly thought their attackers had left. They, therefore, came out of their hide-out, and were subjected to more gun fire. 

Help finally came to Agyare and his colleagues, while Kombian and his accomplices bolted.

The wounded policemen were conveyed to the Nalerigu Hospital, but Agyare was later pronounced dead. 

Another police officer, Frimpong also died later, while one other officer Bonsu was transferred to the Police Hospital in Accra where he was treated and discharged.

In the early hours of Saturday, 23 October 2010, the police carried out another manhunt exercise for Kombian at his twin villages of Danvorga and Danugu, his mother’s native home but he appeared to have had some hints about the operation, and managed to slip through unnoticed…

into Togo, thus escaping arrest. 

Three days later, at about 10:00 p.m., the police had a tip-off that Kombian had re-surfaced in Nakpanduri (Gomsuka is Kombian’s family village and it is in this part of Nakpanduri that he has always felt secure and protected).

In the early hours of Wednesday, 27th October, 2010, based on credible intelligence reports that Johnson Kombian was still holed up in Gomsuka village, a massive police manhunt operation was launched in Gomsuka and other parts of Nakpanduri.

The deployed operational men reached Nakpanduri at about 1:00 p.m. from all four directions of Gomsuka village, but the cordoning-off and search exercises by the police could not locate Kombian, the main target.

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It was suspected that he had had a tip-off and quickly and quietly slipped out of the village. The police, however, rounded up seventeen (17) persons on suspicion of either being accomplices of Kombian in his numerous criminal activities, or being persons who have been…

harbouring and protecting Kombian, and also giving him tit-bits of information that enable him escape anytime the police are on his heels. The suspects were conveyed to the Regional Police Headquarters, Bolgatanga, for questioning.

Kombian, who had been accused of rape, murder and armed robbery, was arrested by Interpol in Northern Togo on Friday, 19th November, 2010 after he was tricked by an informant that his girlfriend was seriously sick in Togo.

Unknown to him, the Togolese police laid ambush, and he was immediately arrested when he crossed the border from Ghana. 

He was transported to Lome, the Togolese capital, and handed over to the Ghanaian authorities at the Aflao border on Sunday morning.

On 19th August, 2015, a seven-member jury of the Accra Fast Track High Court unanimously found Kombian, guilty of conspiracy to commit crime and murder of the two police officers – Constables Prince Agyare and Owusu Frimpong.

He was sentenced to 30 years for conspiracy to commit murder and to death by hanging for murder. 

The trial judge, Justice Habib Logoh after reading the verdict told a sombre-looking Kombian “I know it may not happen but if it does, may God have mercy on your soul.”

In 2016, he attempted another jailbreak after he moved from his “condemned cell” to the main prison yard together with his two cell mates around midnight. 

The Nsawam Medium Security Prison was locked down following an alleged attempt by the notorious criminal.

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