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22.03.2006 Crime & Punishment

Investigate, prosecute culprits in shooting - Police

By GNA

Accra, March 22, GNA - The Inspector General and the Police Administration have been called to ensure thorough investigation and prosecution of the culprits in a shooting incident at Kokrobitey in the Ga West District in February this year.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at Kokrobitey on Wednesday, Mr Daniel Kwame Otoo, Abusuapayin of the Nii Kwashie Djabum Family of Kokrobitey, said that the shooting incident, which took place on Thursday 23rd February this year, was reported to the Odorkor Police.

He said the Police Administration should take a serious view about the incident and get to the bottom to curb the activities of armed land guards and its effects on violent crime especially now that efforts were being made to halt the proliferation of small arms.

Mr Otoo alleged that the incident involved the agents of one Thomas Adama Armah, alias "Asante Pume", a self-styled Chief, Surveyor and leader of land guard group operating in the area.

He said the incident followed attempts by Asante Pume and his group of land guards armed with sophisticated weapons to sell lands at Kokrobitey belonging to the family.

Mr Otoo said members of the family who heard that Asante Pume and his gang had gone to the family land to demarcate part for sale rushed and prevented them from doing so.

He said members of the gang attacked the Family house with offensive weapons but they were overpowered and two cutlasses seized from them but Asante on hearing of the matter went to the house and fired three shots. Two of the spent shells of the bullets were also collected and a report made to the Odorkor Police with the exhibits, adding that pupils of a school close to the family house had to run for their lives during the shooting.

The Abusuapayin stated that after the report the Police moved into the community and arrested one Bernard Brocke alias "Joe Bern" from whom one of the cutlasses was seized but Asante who was invited reported in his own time and was granted bail the same day without writing his statement.

He said members of the family including James Mensah, stool father and Asafoaste Kodi Armah II were invited by the Police to meet with Asante and Brocke.

The Police informed them that they were to investigate the incident but to their surprise, the investigators were driven to community in the vehicle of Asante five days later on the Seventh of March. He said the Police asked them to report the next Tuesday, which they, did but Asante did not show up and they were asked by a personnel of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Perpetual Gakpah, to telephone to find out since the docket had been sent to the District Officer for study.

Mr Otoo pointed out that Asante had been involved in several shooting incidents in the area and in one such incident on the Ninth of May 1999, one his sons shot and killed his brother who tried to restrain him from firing at a land developer.

He said a report was made to the same Odorkor Police but nothing was heard about the matter again.

Mr Otoo told newsmen that the family had been sending petitions since 1995 to the Odokor and Greater Accra Regional Police Command about the illegal sale of the family lands by Asante and his gang but nothing had been done about the matter while he continues with his activities. He expressed surprise that nothing had been done about the shooting especially now that efforts were being done to retrieve all illegal weapons in the hands of people since it was one of the reasons for the spate of armed robberies and other violent crimes in and around the nation's capital.

Mr Otoo appealed to the Police authorities to take a serious view of the matter since Asante and his gang are terrorising innocent people in the community to put an end to illegal sale of land in the area. 22 March 06

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