08.01.2008 Crime & Punishment

Soldier in attempted murder grabbed

By Daily Guide
Soldier in attempted murder grabbed
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Lance Corporal Kennedy Kofi Asuman, a soldier stationed at Michel Camp in Tema who allegedly attempted murdering a taxi driver, has been arrested and handed over to the Police.

L/Corporal Asuman was alleged to have hired the services of the taxi driver, Ato Kwamena Afadi, 27, a resident of South-Suntreso in Kumasi on December 31, 2007, but ended up stabbing him several times and bolting with his car.

A press statement from the Public Relations Directorate, General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces, Burma Camp, issued in Accra and signed by Lt. Col. M'bawine Attindande said "following initial investigations of the incident by the Armed Forces, the solider in question, Lance Corporal Kennedy Asuman, has been identified and handed over to the Police Headquarters for the law to take its course".

The statement said the military had also retrieved the taxi which would also be handed over to the Police.

"The Military High Command would like to extend its profound sympathy to the taxi driver, Ato Kwamena Afadi, for the unfortunate incident and to wish him a speedy recovery.

"The Military High Command wishes to assure the public that it would not condone or protect service personnel who go out of their way to misconduct themselves and violate the laws of the land," it assured.

It would be recalled that an Accra daily published the story of L/Corporal Asuman who was being sought for by the Police in Kumasi for allegedly bolting with a taxi he succeeded in snatching from Mr. Afadi after attempting to murder him on the night of December 31, last year.

L/Corporal Asuman was said to have hired the taxi from Kumasi to Nkawkaw where he allegedly lured the driver into the bush, stabbed him sev¬eral times and abandoned him.

Thinking he was dead, Asuman bolted in the taxi, an Opel Astra with registration number AS 3342 Y together with GH¢200 belonging to the victim.

After gaining consciousness, the victim managed to crawl to the roadside where some Good Samaritans saw and took him to the Nkawkaw Hospital. He was later transferred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for further attention.

Ato was said to have informed that paper on his hospital bed that he had known Asuman as a childhood friend long before he (Asuman) joined the military.

He said he knew Asuman was stationed in Accra, saying he occasionally met him any time he was in town.

“On December 31, I met him in town and he asked me to meet him at the Officers' Mess in the evening. When I got there, he told me his boss had asked him to go to Nkawkaw and collect some money from someone and that he wanted to go with me.” Ato narrated.

Ato said he charged Asuman GH¢50 and they left Kumasi at about 7:30pm, reaching Nkawkaw at about 9:30pm.

“When we got there, he told me the person he was to take the money from had moved out of town, so we should follow up on him. We took a bush road and moved deep into the bush but at a point I told him I was not going further so he agreed that we stop the car for him to go for the money.

“While waiting, I decided to call my wife to inform her that I had arrived safely at Nkawkaw, but while on the phone, Asuman attacked me with a knife and stabbed me on the chest.

“I screamed: 'Kofi did you bring me here to kill me', which my wife later claimed she overheard on the phone and became frightened as the phone went dead afterwards," the victim indicated.

Ato asked Asuman if he had offended him in anyway to which he replied in the negative and said he just wanted to kill him.

According to Ato, he struggled with Asuman as he stabbed him several times at various parts of the body.

He stated that in the course of the struggle, he managed to grab the knife from Asuman and threw it into the bush.

Asuman, he said, then laid his hands on a stick and knocked him heavily on the neck, causing him to fall on the ground.

Ato further said Asuman searched the bush and found the knife and attacked him again.

"From then on, I pretended I was dead so he left me to my fate but not without a last hit with the stick. He later used a flashlight to inspect my face after which he bolted in my taxi," Ato related.

The victim noted that he stayed in the bush for some time and later managed to crawl to the roadside from where a Good Samaritan found him and sent him to the hospital.

When contacted, the Ashanti Regional Police confirmed the story and said the case was being investigated.

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