He completed his secondary education at the Presbyterian Boys" Secondary School in 1955 at Odumase krobo, Ghana.
He is a former Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces and the Head of state and chairman of the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC) in Ghana from 1978 to 1979. He came to power in a military coup, was overthrown in another military coup and executed three weeks later. He then enlisted in the Ghana Army in 1957 and trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, United Kingdom among others, receiving his commission in 1960.
He also attended the National Defence College in India in 1973.
While in the army, he served as Commanding Officer of the Airborne Training School at Tamale and later the 6th Battalion of Infantry of the Ghana army between 1969 and 1970. He rose to become the 2nd Brigade Commander.
He supervised the change over of traffic flow in Ghana from driving on the left to driving on the right as part of "Operation Keep Right" which was effected on 4 August 1974. This change over was successful and largely accident free.
He rose to become the Army Commander in April 1974 and the Chief of Defence Staff in April 1976.
On July 5, 1978, he led a palace coup to overthrow the then Head of state, General Acheampong. He continued with the ongoing preparations to return Ghana to constitutional rule but his government was also cut short on 4 June 1979 by a military uprising by the junior ranks of the Ghana military led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. He was executed along with other senior military officers on 26 June 1979 at the Teshie Military Range, Ghana.
On October 9, 1975, Fred Akuffo was appointed a member of the ruling Supreme Military Council government due to his position as the Ghana army commander.