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04.06.2008 Politics

Minister escapes 'assasination' attempt

By The Statesman
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The Volta Regional police command says a man who forced his way into the residence of the Volta Regional Minister, Samuel Kofi Dzamesi on Monday evening, intended to kill the minister.

The intruder, identified as Dan Dzikunu Agbale, 30, a native of Dekpor near Dzodze in the Ketu North District, was shot and killed by a police officer after he attacked and over-powered a security detail at the Minister's residence.

Before his death, however, Agbale, struggling with the policemen detailed to the Minister's residence, over powered a policeman and shot the Ho Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent Tettey-Nartey in the abdomen and the arm.

Agbale also attacked Superintendent Tettey-Nartey with a crowbar and a hammer he was wielding until he was fatally shot.

A quantity of Indian hemp, a talisman with four keys and porcupine spines were also found on Agbale, according to Volta Regional Police Commander Bernard Dery.

The Regional Minister was said to be absent from the house at the time of the incident. He has however asked the police to investigate a possible political twist to the issue, having identified his deceased attacker as the nephew of his opponent in the upcoming parliamentary election in Ketu North, incumbent James Avedzi of the National Democratic Congress.

The MP had earlier alleged that there was a grand design by the Minister and the NPP to cause mayhem in the constituency in the December polls in order to rig the ballot in the Minister's favour.

The MP has however denied the Minister's allegation. Speaking on Joy FM, he accused Mr Dzamesi of attempting to muddy the political waters, and vowed to seek legal advise.

Earlier, the Surgeon on duty at the Regional Hospital, who pleaded anonymity, told the Regional Minister, Kofi Dzamesi and the Regional Police Commander that Superintendent Tetteh-Nartey was brought in bleeding profusely.

The Surgeon said Supt. Tetteh-Nartey "was badly wounded in the stomach and his intestines perforated by bullets" and that, "we will do our best".

He said Superintendent Tetteh-Nartey was lucky his liver was not damaged and was optimistic that he would be fine.

The Surgeon said Superintendent Tetteh-Nartey had to be transfused with three pints of blood due to his serious loss of blood.

Briefing the media, Mr Dery said he had a call from Superintendent Tetteh-Nartey at about 9:30pm on Monday night that an intruder known as Dzikunu Agbale had attacked the Regional Minister's Residence and was attacking people and destroying properties.

He said he (Commander) quickly arranged for reinforcement and rushed to the scene himself.

The Commander said upon reaching the entrance of the Residency, he was told Agbale had been overpowered, but Superintendent Tetteh-Nartey was rushed to the Regional Hospital.

He said he learnt Agbale arrived at the main gate of the Residency and requested to see the Regional Minister, but was told the Regional Minister had travelled.

The Commander said Agbale then requested to see a driver called Adjei Mensah, also known as "Para" but before the Police could answer him, he (Agbale) punched one of them and forced his way through the main gate into the residency.

Mr Dery said Agbale then rushed to the Regional Minister's apartment, broke the glass door, entered the living room and destroyed a wall clock, pictures and later went to the kitchen, where he took a kitchen knife and chased the Minister's son.

The Regional Commander said the Police then arrived, gave some warning shots and Agbale, who had then taken cover, emerged and attacked a policeman, resulting in a struggle.

He said during the struggle, Agbale held the rifle of one of the policemen and pressed the trigger, hitting Superintendent Tettey-Nartey in the abdomen and the arm.

He said Agbale also attacked Superintendent Tettey-Nartey with a crowbar and a hammer he was wielding until he was subsequently shot by the police, killing him instantly.

He said the Police was still trying to establish the true identity of Agbale, but "suspects an assassination attempt in view of recent developments in Ho and Dzodze area".

Meanwhile, Agbale's body has been deposited at the Volta Regional mortuary.

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