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03.03.2005 Crime & Punishment

Ataa Ayi’s Lover Speaks

By GNA
Ataa Ayi’s Lover Speaks

The Notorious armed robber, Aryee Aryeetey, alias Ataa Ayi, who was nabbed by the police upon a tip-off on Monday February 28, was once a taxi driver.

An ex-lover of the captured armed robber has also revealed that Ataa Ayi was first arrested in 1999 on suspicion of being an armed robber. The lover (name withheld) said she became suspicious and broke off the relation. According to a taxi driver (name withheld) he knew Ataa Ayi very well, adding that the man was a very popular person in Adabraka, a suburb of Accra, but was quick to explain that he did not know at that time that he was an armed robber.

He plied Circle, Odorkor and Dansoman routes. According to police records, Ayi can reverse a car at over a 100 kilometres an hour speed, a feat which can pass for a Hollywood dream. The taxi driver related that the elusive gang-leader was famous among his colleague taxi drivers, but had unassuming character. He was said not to be very sociable, though respectful with quick temper but generous. He was noted for being a quite person, not getting too close to anyone, although, once in a while, he would bring friends to the bar, and fete them with booze. As a generous person, he was known for doling out money to his favourites.

He was known to have had an amorous relationship with a beautiful girl at Adabraka Official Town. An impeccable source revealed that Ataa Ayi used to patronize the After Dark drinking spot where the lady used to work in the 1990s, adding that he eventually won the girl's heart. The notable feature in the relationship was that Ataa Ayi never visited his girlfriend during the day, but rather late at night. For the girl and her parents, these nocturnal visits were attributed to the man's work as a taxi driver, without the foreknowledge that Ayi was a suspected armed robber. In 1999, when he was nabbed for robbery, the girlfriend got wind of it and severed the relationship. But Ataa Ayi, it has been revealed resurfaced and approached the girl, pleaded for re-engagement with a promise of marrying her.

He is said to have explained to the girl that he was only implicated as a suspect because his taxi was hired to cart goods he did not know were stolen. The lady was convinced and thus the friendship blossomed with more fire. Not long after, the lady heard that Ataa Ayi was out-dooring a baby he had with another lady, within the vicinity. She became confused and disheartened, crying out her heart, especially when she learnt that a number of her close associates were even present at the outdooring ceremony.

She therefore resolved not to have anything to do with Ataa Ayi anymore. According to her, she has since, never set eyes on him again, until the man was busted last Monday. The sourced added that the woman and her parents on seeing Ayi in handcuffs on TV screen, shouted in disbelief, but thanked God for delivering them from such an inglorious moment. The lady is now married with children. The once mysterious Ataa Ayi, who has given the police and Accra residents sleepless nights, was captured when his supposed supernatural powers deserted him. He then acknowledged that it was the will of God that he be captured.

This brings to an end the six year hunt for the most wanted criminal, in recent times. Upon his arrest last Monday, Ayi told reporters that the greatest fear of his life are the police. He said the fear of arrest, kept him underground, even when the giant billboards with his pictures boldly printed, dotted the country's landscape. The notorious armed robber is reported to have gone on his knees, crying, "don't kill me", when he was grabbed, as he hanged his laundry on a drying-line at his Nungua temporary home. He was arrested together with his new wife, Elizabeth Imoro. The couple have a one and a half-year-old baby, making him a father of two.

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