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22.11.2004 General News

Bongo DCE reports assault case against Rawlings

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Bolgatanga, (U/E), Nov. 22, GNA - Mr Clement Apikiya, District Chief Executive (DCE) of Bongo on Sunday reported a case of assault against Former President Jerry John Rawlings at the Bolgatanga Police Station.

The Police told the GNA that they were investigating the matter. Mr Apikiya told Journalists that he had a cut on his left eyebrow from splintered glass pieces during the incident, which occurred on Sunday night within the vicinity of the Catholic Mission and the Post Office at Bongo.

Narrating the incident after lodging the complaint, the DCE said he was driving from Dua, a nearby village, where he had attended a local festival toward his official residence on the road to Bolgatanga, when encountered a crowd ahead of him between 1830 and 1900 hours. He, therefore, tried to secure a safe passage by moving slowly through the crowd honking and they responded by granting him access until he got to the thickest portion between the Catholic Mission and the Post Office, he explained.

At that point, the DCE said, some of the people prevented him from moving ahead by standing in the way of his vehicle so he halted. Mr Apikiya said Former President Rawlings suddenly emerged from the midst of the crowd and rushed to his side, where he had partially rolled down the glass.

"He thrust his hand into the window and vigorously shook my left shoulder, asking whether I wanted to kill the people," the DCE said.

"I told him I was only trying to drive home because that road was the only access route and I couldn't fly over the crowd." Mr Apiyika said he then pushed the Former President's hand away and rolled up the glass and locked the door.

Just at that time, he said, a tall, heavily built man, whom he suspected to be a bodyguard, replaced the Former President at the window and banged on the glass until it splintered with some pieces cutting his eyebrow.

Other people, he said, joined and hit various parts of his vehicle, a white Nissan double cabin pickup with registration number GT 2336 U, with Bongo District Assembly embossed on the doors. The rear right glass window was also broken in the process.

Mr Apikiya said two men, whom he identified as Commander Hill Akayeti, an Assemblyman from Bongo Beo and Mr Dennis Ayambilla, the Local Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) Secretary, went to his rescue and managed to pave the way for him to drive away.

The DCE, who was travelling with three other people in his vehicle, showed his wound and the broken glass to Journalists. Some of the pieces of glass were in the vehicle.

Asked why he did not report the incident to the Bongo Police, the DCE said that would have meant driving back through the same route and he found that imprudent, hence his report to the Bolgatanga Police. When the GNA visited the Bongo Police Station on Monday morning, the head of the Unit, Chief Inspector Lartey said he had sent a situation report to the Bolgatanga Police for further investigations. One of his men at the scene of the incident, Corporal Daniel Quartey was also reportedly assaulted and lost a tooth in the process, he said.

The victim confirmed the attack but said he would not give details until he had sought clearance from the Regional Police Commander. Chief Inspector Lartey explained that the Former President, who had earlier called on the regent of Bongo, was addressing NDC supporters on the road during the incident.

The Party had sought authorization from the Police to organize a rally in the afternoon at the rally park, he said.

However, the Former President and his entourage arrived at dusk and might have, therefore, found the rally grounds too dark and decided to use the road because of the availability of streetlights.

Enquiries at both the Bongo and Bolgatanga Police Stations as at 1100 hours on Monday indicated that the NDC had not yet filed any

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