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17.02.2005 Crime & Punishment

Driver fined for threatening passengers

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Kumasi, Feb 17, GNA - A Kumasi Circuit Court presided over by Mr Essel Mensah on Wednesday, fined a commercial vehicle driver, six million cedis for violating seven traffic regulations and threatening passengers with a cutlass.

The offences included refusing to transport passengers, driving without valid license, driving a vehicle without valid roadworthiness certificate, failing to provide proper seating for passengers, failing to carry advanced warning triangle and using a vehicle without fire extinguishers.

The Accused, Augustine Adusei Poku pleaded guilty to all the charges except for threatening the passengers. His Counsel contended that the cutlass was a weapon against armed robbers.

In default of the fine he would go to prison for three and a half years.

Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Agnes Dinkyini told the court that on February 11, this year at 1700 hours, Poku was driving a bus full of passengers with foodstuff under the seats from Brodekwano to Kumasi, adding that, even though uncomfortable, the passengers complied. He said on their way, the driver spotted some people by the roadside and stopped to pick them but the passengers objected. Chief Inspector Dinkyini said Poku got offended, drove recklessly back to Brodekwano and ordered them to get down but when the passengers refused, he drew a sharp cutlass and threatened to slash them if they failed.

She said the passengers fearing for their lives got down, some through the door and windows whilst the rest remained on the vehicle and insisted that the driver took them to their destination. Chief Inspector Dinkyini said some of the passengers who got down reported the incident to the Asokwa police who arrested the accused. She said a check on the vehicle led to the detection of the other offences.

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