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09.05.2004 General News

Relatives of accident victims cry foul

By GNA

Apam (C/R), May 9, GNA - The family of a seven-year-old girl, Mame Botwey, who was killed on her way to school by a taxi owned by a police officer at Apam on April 27, 2004 has appealed to the Inspector-General of Police to set up an independent team to investigate the case because they suspected Apam police would not give them fair deal.

Ebusuapanyin Kweku Egyin, head of Dehyena Clan of Apam, Mr Kobena Amotoe and Mr Kobena Abbam, both linguists, John Kwesi Blankson, father of the deceased and Mr Kow Quaye, the girl's brother-in law with whom she was staying before the accident, said their suspicion was aroused by the way the case was being handled.

According to them, neither the cab nor the driver was detained at the police station after the accident.

Ebusuapanyin Egyin who was the spokesman, said following the death of the girl, the car owner met the family and promised to pay for the coffin, a shroud, as well as the digging of the grave and mortuary expenses in addition to providing a bottle of local gin, but later reneged on his promise.

"He later sent us a message that since he had paid for post mortem expenses and had seen to the signing of the relevant papers for her burial, he could not provide the items he had promised earlier," he said.

Ebusuapanyin Egyin said when they approached the District Commander of Police to seek redress, he told them that the officer gave the promise on humanitarian grounds and that he could not force him to do so since there was no law binding him to provide the items.

He said the Commander told them that the matter was purely civil and that they could take civil action to seek redress.

When GNA contacted the District Commander, he explained that the vehicle was impounded and released after a Testing officer had examined it.

He said the driver was released on bail in the sum of two million cedis but this was raised to 10 million cedis on his orders after he examined the records.

According to him, there is no law binding a vehicle owner to pay for the cost of treatment or burial of an accident victim when the vehicle has a valid insurance cover.

"It is the responsibility of the insurance company to pay for those things", he added.

The district Commander gave assurance that everything possible would be done to ensure justice in the case, adding that his outfit was waiting for the Testing Officer's report to enable it process the necessary documents to the Attorney General for advice.

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