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28.11.2005 General News

Shooting of Commey's Aide was accidental -Police

By Accra Dail Mail
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An officer of the Homicide Unit of the Ghana Police Headquarters has told the Accra Dail Mail (ADM) that preliminary investigations into the shooting incident involving Mr Abubakari Suleimana, an aide of the National Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Lord Commey, was "purely accidental."

Mr Suleimana popularly called 'Lakolako' who is currently in police custody and assisting in investigations is alleged to have shot one of his close friends at Baah Yard, Awoshie, a suburb of Accra, when he was offloading goods from Mr Commey's Nissan Patrol vehicle after returning from a regional tour.

The Head of Public Affairs Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Police headquarters, Inspector Joseph Benefo Darkwah, told ADM last weekend that investigations so far conducted by the police reveals that the shooting incident was "unintentional."

Narrating the incident to the ADM, Inspector Darkwah said Mr Lord Commey, who is seeking re-election, and the suspect had been on a two-week tour around the country. He said upon arrival at the suspect's house at Baah Yard, Awoshie, many friends of 'Lakolako' gathered around the vehicle.

"The boys including the deceased helped the suspect to offload his luggage from the vehicle. They had a pump action gun in the vehicle to protect themselves because they said they had been traveling at night.

In the course of offloading the luggage, the suspect took the gun in his left hand and was pulling another luggage with his right hand; at that moment the deceased pulled another bag and unfortunately it hit the pump action gun in the hands of the suspect and it triggered off."

Inspector Darkwah stated that it is common for pump action guns to trigger off with the slightest pressure. "The pump action gun is unlike the AK 47 and other guns because it can start firing even when it hits the ground. That is why we (the police) usually use the AK 47 and others. So this incident is just unfortunate."

He said a postmotem would be conducted on the deceased who was in his early 20s after which a docket on the case would be forwarded to the Attorney-Generals Department for "further advice."

Asked whether the gun was registered, Inspector Darkwah answered in the affirmative.

Later in an interview with the ADM, Mr Lord Commey, who was somber, said the gun had always been in his vehicle because he travels at night and would use it in self-defense in the event of any attack. He confirmed that the gun is licensed.

He said after the trip last Thursday night, he drove Suleimana to his house to enable him remove his part of the luggage before he moved to his house. Mr Commey said he was in his vehicle with his driver waiting for the aide to offload the luggage when he heard a gunshot.

"I got down only to see one of Abu's own 'brothers' who had come to welcome him lying on the floor. Abu himself doesn't know what happened. Infact, out of the numerous young guys in the area the deceased had been his close pal...because I wanted to avoid any political readings into the incident, I handed him over to the Odorkor Police myself and the police came to carry out their work. It's a really unfortunate thing and I just cannot believe it," he sobbed.

Some close family members of the deceased that ADM spoke to have cautioned the public to respect their culture and stop linking the death of their beloved to politics to "allow the dead to rest in peace."

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