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16.02.2005 General News

CID investigates Castle shooting incident

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Accra, Feb. 16, GNA - The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Wednesday took over the investigations into a shooting incident at the Castle on Tuesday.

Two people were killed when a soldier belonging to the Presidential detail on standby shot and killed a lady friend of his girlfriend, wounded his girlfriend and allegedly shot himself.

Mr Patrick Eden Timbila, Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of CID operations told the Ghana News Agency in Accra that, the soldier, Lance Corporal Odartey Lamptey who was on standby post used the military weapon assigned to him to commit the act.

He said the girlfriend of Odartey, named as Tina Dakpo, 24 and a resident of Mamprobi who sustained injuries from the gunshot on her chest was in a stable condition at the 37 Military Hospital while her friend Agnes Dufe Yaahya, 22 died from her wounds.

Mr Timbila said the two ladies visited the soldier who upon seeing them opened fire on them and believing that they were both dead, shot himself through the mouth with his weapon.

Investigations by the GNA indicate that on Sunday, Odartey visited Tina's house at Mamprobi but she was not in so he left some fish for her. Tina was said to have prepared some dish with the fish and called him to eat, which he did.

According to witnesses, Odartey was furious that Tina did not call him on Saint Valentine's Day but chose to come to him after the celebration.

The investigations also revealed that the two had been in a relationship for about a year and frequently visited each other. Tina had invited Agnes at Abelemkpe to accompany her to Odartey at the Castle.

According to the witness, when Odartey saw the two ladies approaching him he became furious and fired at them. Agnes fell and he fired also in the direction of Tina who had taken to her heels, and he later fired at himself believing that they were both dead. The President was said to be having a meeting at the time of the incident. Chronicle's Version PHONE ROW LED TO SHOOTING INCIDENT ... As soldier guns down 2 ladies, commits suicide THE OSU Castle, the seat of Ghana's government, and its environs on Tuesday evening were thrown into a state of confusion. Residents near the area witnessed a shooting incident that sparked off fear that a military coup was in the making, when a member of Castle Security details, Lance Corporal Odartey, of Recce Regiment, opened fire on two civilians. After opening fire on his girlfriend, Tina Gakpo, and her companion, Agnes Dufo, Lance Cpl Odartey then put the revolver into his mouth, pulled the trigger and blew off his head.

It was a chilling sight as the lifeless bodies of Odartey and Agnes, lay in a pool of blood, near the northern gate of the Castle, with Tina, who had been wounded, screaming for help.

It was a horrific scene with the residents in the vicinity trying to outwit the security men at the scene to catch a glimpse of the unfolding events.

It all started when, around 7.30 pm, Tina and Agnes, arrived at the Castle's northern gate to look for L-Cpl. Odartey. Unknown to some of the security men at the post, Odartey had sent a strict warning earlier to some of his colleagues to tell his estranged girlfriend Tina that he was not around, should she come looking for him.

Chronicle sources said when Tina and Agnes, both seamstresses in Accra, arrived at the gate and enquired about Odartey, they were told that he was around the Recce Regiment base at the Castle and they were directed to where an armoured car was parked.

Chronicle learnt that when Tina and her friend reached the Recce Regiment base, they did not meet Odartey, but fortunately met the officer, who heads the Recce Regiment at the Castle.

Chronicle gathered that the Commander of the Recce Regiment politely welcomed Tina and her friend and asked them their mission.

Chronicle learnt that in the course of the conversation with the Commander Odartey appeared on the scene, complaining bitterly about the presence of his estranged girlfriend and her companion, who, sources say, were at the Castle to collect their cell-phone from the soldier.

The paper learnt that Odartey, who did not take kindly to the issue, therefore asked his commander to order the ladies to leave the area or they would face the music.

According to our inside sources, the commander, ignored him and rather tried to find out what had happened between them.

Odartey, we were told, again demanded that the two girls left the place, but he was ignored and before long he pulled a revolver from the parked armoured car nearby, cocked it and threatened to shoot the girls if they did not leave the spot immediately.

When the commander realized that Odartey was very serious about his threat, he reportedly tried to save the situation but it was too late.

Odartey pulled the trigger and shot Agnes, sending her sprawling on the ground and when Tina attempted to take to her heels he shot at her too. He then put the nuzzle of the gun into his mouth and fired, blowing off his own head in the process.

hronicle sources had it that Odartey and Tina were lovers, but the happy relationship turned sour later.

As a result, Tina approached her friend Agnes to accompany her to the Castle to retrieve her cell phone, which was Odartey's possession.

At the end of the hostilities both Odartey and Agnes died on the spot, while Tina was rushed to the 37 Military Hospital, where she is reported to be responding to treatment.

The Press Secretary of the President, Mr. Kwabena Agyepong, confirmed the shooting incident in an interview with Joy FM Radio yesterday.

He, however, denied that the shooting occurred at the premises of the Castle, but said it was at “an area near the Castle.”

He clarified that the military guard was not part of the President's security team, adding that, “he is part of the security personnel at the castle but not the President's personal security. He is on guard at one of the sentry locations in the environs of the castle.”

Mr. Agyapong said the security guards at the Castle are professional people, who run the President's security.

He said National Security checks the kind of individuals who guard the President, though he admitted there are still a few bad nuts around.

“ I do believe that officials of the National Security do the checks but of course we all know what happened in DR Congo and other countries. Sometimes you can not predict some of these things may happen, but I think that for the meantime we can say they are doing their work as competently as possible,” he stressed.

The Press Secretary said he was aware that the Military Intelligence Department conducts psychological and drug tests of the military security personnel.

“But in human endeavours you can not easily predict uncertainties,” he added. The paper learnt that at the time of the shooting incident the President and his chief of staff, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, were locked up in a meeting at the Castle.

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