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12.06.2007 General News

Police Hunt For Asuma Banda’s Son

The Violent Crimes Unit of the Ghana Police Service has mounted a hunt for a 28-year-old gunman, said to be the son of shipping and airline businessman, Alhaji Asuma Banda.

Announcing the hunt yesterday, the police warned that the man, Halim Banda, was armed with a pistol, with which he stormed a nightclub in Accra on Sunday morning and fired indiscriminately, amidst threats that he would kill the proprietor of the club.

The Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Mr Patrick Timbilla, said around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, Halim stormed the Cinderella Nightclub, owned by Kiki Banson, threatened the proprietor with murder and assaulted a radio presenter, Kofi Okyere Darko (KOD) of Radio Gold.

The suspect was said to have given KOD a heavy blow which sent him to the ground and threatened to kill him if he tried to get up.

He said Kiki and KOD, who were both at the restaurant, had come out in their bid to go home when they spotted Halim leaning on the bonnet of a car parked in front of the club's adjoining restaurant.

Mr Timbilla said as soon as Halim saw Kiki and KOD, he started raining insults on Kiki, who ignored Halim because there was a case pending at the court between the two.

He said earlier this year, Halim, in the company of his brother Sidik, had attacked the Cinderella Nightclub, causing damage to property worth about $9,000.

The deputy director-general said the two also broke a bottle and inflicted a deep wound in the palm of one Reginald Bannerman who had raised his arm to ward off the attack.

He said after an initial treatment at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Reginald was flown to the United States for further treatment.

He said after that incident, Halim and Sidik were arrested and put before court and the case was adjourned to today.

Mr Timbilla said because of that development, when Kiki saw Halim at the car park, he ignored him completely and entered his car, followed by KOD. But Halim rushed on KOD.

He said after putting KOD down with a heavy blow, Halim pulled his pistol and fired three warning shots, threatening to kill both of them.

He said all that while KOD was still on the floor, while Halim was standing over him, cursing and screaming.

He said Kiki managed to open his car door, came out and ran back into the nightclub, while Halim gave him a hot chase into the VIP session of the club.

The bouncers at the nightclub, on seeing Halim wielding the gun and shouting, stopped him from entering the club and Kiki managed to call the Director-General of the CID, Mr David Asante-Apeatu, on phone and he quickly dispatched a patrol team to the scene. However, when the team got there Halim had already left.

He said Halim had since been in hiding but promised that the police would leave no stone unturned in the hunt for him.

Story by Mary Mensah