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06.01.2005 General News

Coomson trying to blackmail me - Edumadze

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The Central Regional Minister Issac Edumadze has denied newspaper reports that he assaulted a city guard who was performing his official duty.

The Chronicle reported in today's edition that the minister, who is also the MP for Ajumako Enyan Denkyira, battered the city guard who had clamped his vehicle parked at an unauthorised area.

In an interview with Komla Dumor on the Super Morning Show, the Regional minister denied the allegation saying it was just another attempt by the Chronicle publisher, Kofi Koomson, to blackmail him after earlier attempts had failed.

Asked why he thought Mr Koomson was blackmailing him, Mr Edumadze replied, “it is because he hates me”.

According to a press statement from the Public Relations Unit of the Central Regional Council on Thursday said the Taskforce locked the tyres on Wednesday as soon as Mr Edumadze stepped out of the vehicle to talk to some market women.

The statement said the engine was running with the hazard lights blinking and despite the fact that some bystanders and an Associate of the Regional Minister told them that it was Mr. Edumadze, who had parked the vehicle, they ignored them and went ahead to lock up the tyres.

It said when the members of the Taskforce were told that the vehicle belonged to the Regional Minister one of them retorted: "Who is he?"

The statement said a Member of the Municipal Assembly had to plead with the members of the Taskforce before they unlocked the tyres after about 20 minutes. ' Sergeant' Isaac Adabie, Commander of the Taskforce, in an interview said t the team was on its usual patrol duty, when it came upon the parked vehicle so they locked up its tyres.

He said the team did not know that the vehicle belonged to the Regional Minister until Mr. Edumadze sent someone to inform him.

'Sgt' Adabie said soon after he had ordered one of his men to go and unlock the tyres of the vehicle, one of the Municipal Assembly Guards, 'Corporal' Joseph Abraham, who was then directing traffic near the Market, came to report to him that Mr. Edumadze had slapped him repeatedly because of the incident.

He said the Municipal Guards had laid down their tools, "until they hear from the authorities".

The Cape Coast Municipal Assembly set up the Task Force for revenue mobilisation and traffic control.

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