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29.01.2008 General News

Kufuor Crasher Goes Wild

By Daily Guide
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Mr. Thomas Osei, the 51-year-old businessman who is standing trial for ramming his car into the official vehicle of President John Agyekum Kufuor last November, 'lost his cool' and attacked a DAILY GUIDE photojournalist who attempted taking photographs of him.

The incident took place last Friday at the forecourt of the Accra Fast-Track High Court immediately after proceedings as Osei was being escorted to a waiting van outside.

Osei who for the first time was not handcuffed at court, spotted the cameraman and initially hid his face at the back of a man then walking in front of him.

He realized however that the journalist was bent on taking his picture and instinctively stretched his hand to hit the camera but the cameraman managed to dodge him.

The cameraman, determined to take the photograph, continued to follow him.

Osei became so irritated that he turned and tried to knock him down.

Once again, the cameraman rushed back to avoid any fisticuffs but managed to take some pictures.

The accused driver is facing seven counts of dangerous driving, negligently causing harm, driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to give way to a presidential convoy, failing to effect change of ownership of vehicle, and use of cocaine, a narcotic drug.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is still on remand.
Earlier, Reverend King Joe Osei Kufuor of Hall of Faith Ministry who got injured as a result of the accident, under cross-examination by Mr. Kwame Akuffo, told the court that he could not tell the exact time the accused driver got to the intersection, and that the 'zoom, zoom' sound from Mr. Osei's car attracted his attention.

He indicated that he could not challenge the assertion that the accused person was not at the scene when the motor escort and other cars in front of the President passed.

The Reverend also stated that he would not have known that the President was coming supposing all the motor escorts with the siren had passed and the traffic light was green.

In the course of cross examining him, defence counsel indicated that he was not a Reverend as indicated to the court since he had nothing to qualify him as one, adding that because of his questionable character, the court should not take him serious in a case which has taken a national dimension.

Rev. Kufuor in his evidence-in-chief told the court that the accused overtook a taxi cab at top speed despite all signals from a policeman at the intersection, and drove into the President's car.

Rev. Kufuor narrated that on that fateful day, he was from the DVLA and was about to make a U-turn at the traffic light from Opeibia house to Mallam when he heard the siren of the convoy and stopped.

According to him, when the President's car was almost at the intersection, he saw the accused driver at top speed overtake a taxi cab in front of him, but although he was signaled to stop by a policeman, he refused to do so until he hit the President's car.

He said when the President's car hit his own,
his left hand was affected so he could not open the door and had to come out from the right door, adding that it was when he came out that he saw people from the vehicle which was in front of the President's coming to his rescue.
By Mary Anane

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