A 36-year-old policeman who succeeded in preventing a suspect from being lynched, paid with his life when the suspect, alleged to be a wee smoker, butchered him at the Kwahu Praso Police Station in the Eastern Region yesterday.
Lance Corporal Sumaila Hamid was at the police station about 7.00 a.m. when the suspect, Kojo Attah, alias Okialy, a sugar cane farmer and known drug addict, entered the police station.
The suspect had a sharpened machete on him and he was being chased by a hostile mob. The mob was after Attah's blood for allegedly inflicting deep wounds on one Kwame Noah, whom Attah suspected of stealing sugar cane from his farm at Ahyiresu, a village near Kwahu Praso.
According to the Nkawkaw Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Paul M.N. Awini, Lance Corporal Hamid managed to ward off Attah's pursuers.
Chief Superintendent Awini said Attah used the machete to butcher the policeman, while the mob looked on helplessly and in anguish.
He said Attah then pulled the policeman's gun and fired three shots into the air and dared anyone to come forward, before fleeing into the bush with the rifle.
Chief Superintendent Awini said he personally led policemen to Kwahu Praso and its surrounding villages and, together with some young men from the area, succeeded in arresting Attah.
He said the police had to apply “reasonable force” to disarm Attah, who had resisted arrest, adding that the suspect, who was later sent to the Holy Family Hospital at Nkawkaw, died in the early hours of yesterday and the body was sent to the Government Hospital at Atibie where the body of Hamid had also been deposited.
Noah, he said, was being treated at the Holy Family Hospital at Nkawkaw. Chief Superintendent Awini, who said police investigations were going on, described Lance Corporal Hamid, who had been sent from the Mounted Squadron, as a brave man who had helped to deal with armed robbers in the area.
DSP Kwesi Ofori, the acting Director of Police Public Affairs, also confirmed the story to the Daily Graphic and regretted that Lance Corporal Hamid should die in the line of duty.
Story by A. Kofoya Tetteh & Timothy Gobah