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19.07.2004 General News

Policeman kills security officer, Injures 2 Cops

By Graphic

Sixteen rounds of ammunition rang from the police Constable's AK 47 assault rifle, leaving a security officer of Joker's Night Club and Restaurant at Otswe, near La, in Accra, dead and two policemen critically injured.

Constable Abew Suphihyia of the Armoured Car Squadron then dropped the weapon and took to his heels. He was pursued and overpowered by a mob which nearly lynched him. He was, however, saved by the timely arrival of a police patrol team.

Constable Suphihyia, who closed from duty at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) at 6 p.m. on Friday, went on a mission, ostensibly to arrest wee smokers and peddlers at the Joker's Restaurant and Night Club at about 1.30 a.m. He was in the company of a soldier friend, who was in mufti.

According to an eyewitness, Ms Lydia Akuada, who operates a drinking bar adjacent Joker's, at about 1:30 a.m., a taxi stopped in front of her kiosk and an armed policeman and another man in mufti came out and entered the main house behind the night club.

She said at the time there were a lot of people around the area and all of a sudden they heard gunshots, followed by an order of “stay, stay” and the people started running for dear lives.

She said some of them crossed the main Accra-Tema Road and entered the South La Estate, while others entered the night club. The only person who did not run was a Nigerian.

Ms Akuada said the policeman then came to the front of Joker's with his colleague and they asked the Nigerian to enter a taxi, but he resisted fiercely because, according to him, he had not committed any offence.

She said the policeman fired another shot and that attracted a lot of people to the scene, including three policemen in mufti.

It was then that they realised that the armed policeman was heavily drunk so they pleaded with him to hand over the weapon but he rather pointed it at the crowd that had garthered around and opened fire.

When Chief Superintendent Bright Oduro, the Accra Regional Police Crime Officer, was contacted, he confirmed incident and said Constable Abew went to the spot without authority.

Chief Supt Oduro said Constable Suphihyia fired several warning shots and three policemen from the Osu Police Barracks, who were on their way to the Osu Night Market to buy food, heard the shots so they followed up to the spot.

He said they found him with a weapon forcing a Nigerian, Charles Obahor, into a taxi and he was resisting the arrest.

He said the three policemen, Constables Vincent Boadi, Benjamin Cudjoe and Nana Adjeman, came out of their vehicle in a bid to assist Constable Abew to arrest the Nigerian but after showing him their identity cards, he shouted at them that he did not need any assistance from anybody.

The Crime Officer said at that stage the crowd that had gathered around the scene realised that Constable Suphihyia was drunk so they started advancing on him in order to disarm him.

He said at that stage, he cocked his weapon and asked the three policemen who were trying to convince him to hand over the weapon to move back or he would fire at them.

They refused, and all of a sudden he started firing. The security man, whose name was given only as Banana, died instantly whilst two of the policemen sustained gun shots wounds on the shoulder and ankle respectively.

At that point Constable Suphihyia dropped the weapon and took to his heels but he was pursued and nearly lynched.

The Crime Officer said when the police went to the scene of the incident, they recovered nine empty shells and the weapon with four live ammunition.

He said the weapon had 20 rounds of ammunition which meant that he discharged 16 rounds leaving only four

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