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22.03.2009 Crime & Punishment

Armed Robbers Invade Rawlings, Nduom Area

By TODAY Newspaper
Armed Robbers Invade Rawlings, Nduom Area

The spiral of armed robbery in the country has been extended to the official residential area of former President Jerry John Rawlings and Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, the 2008 presidential candidate of the Convention People's Party (CPP) at North Ridge in Accra. The area also serves as the residential home of the German Ambassador to Ghana.

Information reaching Today indicates that the area has witnessed five robbery cases within a spate of one month with the latest victim being the Production Manager of Today newspaper, Mr. Michael Cobbinah on the dawn of Monday, March 16, 2009.

However, Mr. Cobbinah whose fate hung perilously within the almost five minutes encounter with the blood thirsty moguls had his fleeing heart restored to normalcy by a detailed police officer on duty in the area.

The personal driver of Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom has also been at the receiving end of the attacks, where the robbers inflicted multiple wounds causing serious bruises on his body. Poor Richard Appiah Kubi, unlike Cobbinah, could not be saved and had to surrender his mobile phone.

Although the act is carried out at the road linking the main National Liberation Circle-Kwame Nkrumah Circle road from the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) end, eye witness account suggests that the robbers perpetuate the act particularly on the road in front of Home Finance Company to the BNI.

Despite its residential locus and the fact that the area has witnessed bouts of robberies in recent times, that particular area where the robberies had been carried out has been in perpetual darkness- a situation some residents say, makes commuters unsafe using the road at night.

Today established from on-the-spot investigations that all the robberies were carried out at that particular spot and that the robbers often hide in the dark and unleash terror on unsuspecting commuters of the road.

The search shows that the robbers have not been able to hit the former President, Dr. Nduom and other high profile residents of the area because of the well structured security detail at the residence of these public officials. As they fail to hit their prime targets, the robbers have resorted to targeting commuters and commercial cars, especially, taxis.

Some residents who spoke to Today said five major robberies had been recorded in the area. Narrating his ordeal, Mr. Cobbinah said he suspected he was trailed by the robbers from Hot FM where he had gone to deliver the day's edition of the newspaper for the paper's Morning Show programme.

“I realized that there was a particular taxi following us whilst we drove through the Asylum Down, Liberation Circle road,” Mr. Cobbinah narrated.

He further said when his car branched into the BNI road through the North Ridge area, the taxi over took “our car, crossed us and immediately raised machetes and demanded that we give them our mobile phones and monies”.

According to Cobbinah, before he, together with the driver of the vehicle, could decide on what to do, gun shots were heard a few metres away and “that scared away the robbers who immediately went into the taxi cab and sped off”.

To the surprise of Cobbinah and the driver, a policeman rushed to the scene from the darkness to sympathize with them, adding that “the policeman told us he was the one who gave the warning shost to scare aware the robbers”.

Today got the hint from Cobbinah that the policeman who gave his name as Boateng, aka Terror, saw the action from a distance and therefore decided to drive away the robbers through the gun scare.

Terror corroborated our findings that about five armed robbery cases had been recorded in the area in recent times, adding that “it is because of the robberies that the police is detailed throughout the night to keep the area secure”.

Source: TODAY Newspaper