Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Ksi bank robbers stole over ¢1.2 billion cedis

It has now been established that the robbers who broke into the Kumasi Central branch of the SG-SSB Bank on December 22, 2007 made away with GH 124,600 cedis( 1,246,OOO,OOO cedis).

Confirming this in an interview, a police source said apart from the Deputy Manager, Mr David Asiedu Berchie, who was still in custody and some private security guards who were on police bail, no arrests had been made in connection with the case.

Mr Berchie, who was arrested a few hours after the incident, was still in police custody as of Friday, pending further investigations into the case.

The source stated that a case had been established against the suspect and he would soon be arraigned, explaining that the courts were on recess, hence Mr Berchie's continuous detention in police custody.

The source further noted that charges of illegal entry and stealing were likely to be preferred against the suspect when he finally appears before court.

Last Saturday, some robbers had a field day when they broke into the Kumasi Central Branch of the bank.

After destroying a window at the back of the bank building and entering it, the robbers opened the strong room with a key before removing the protective iron bars to gain access to the stockpile of cash.

The situation undermined business operations of the bank last Saturday as customers who converged there to withdraw cash for their Christmas festivities or business transactions had to return empty-handed, while those who were to deposit cash with the bank could also not do so.

A few hours after the incident, Mr Berchie was arrested by the police to assist in their investigations.

Also arrested were some private security guards keeping watch over the bank, but after their statements had been taken, they were released on police enquiry bail pending further investigations into the case.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Robbery at K'si Central SG-SSB bank

The Deputy Manager of the Kumasi Central Branch of the SG-SSB Bank has been arrested as one of the key suspects after robbers broke into the strong room of the bank last Saturday and made away with an unspecified amount of cash.

The suspect, Mr David Asiedu Berchie, was arrested a few hours after the robbery to assist the police in their investigations.

Moments after the incident, the police arrested the 50-year-old deputy manager as one of the key suspects to assist in their investigations.
Some of the security men were also arrested but they were later released on police inquiry bail.

The robbers were said to have entered the bank by breaking through a back window.

They then opened the strong room with a key before making away with the cash.

Police sources said security men from a private security firm who kept guard at the bank, were probably outwitted by the robbers as they were reported not to have heard anything about the break-in throughout the period it lasted.

The police have mounted a search for the suspects and appealed to the public to offer information that might lead to their arrest.

After opening the strong room, the robbers succeeded in removing some iron bars that protected the room and carried away the unspecified amount of money without any notice by the security men around.

As the robbers escaped with their booty, they were alleged to have scattered a number of the currency notes along their escape route from the strong room to their entry point.

The activities of the unknown robbers affected business operations of the bank last Saturday as customers who converged on the premises of the bank to withdraw money for their businesses and the Christmas festivities were disappointed because the bank did not open for any business.

Those who went there to deposit money also had to return to their offices and homes disappointed, for the same reason.

The Ashanti Regional Police Public Affairs Officer, Inspector Mohammed Tanko, who confirmed the incident in an interview, said the police could not completely rule out the involvement of some staff of the bank but added that "for now, it is too early to suspect anything like that. However; we strongly believe that the deputy manager can assist the police in our investigations, hence his arrest".

He said investigations into the case would go very deep in a bid to unravel the mystery surrounding the robbery, especially how the robbers succeeded in opening the strong room with a key before removing the protective iron bars to get access to the cash.

Inspector Tanko said there was no evidence of the use of weapons by the unknown persons who broke into the strong room.

He said the police would also stretch investigations to cover why the internal security rnen guarding the bank did not hear anything regarding the entry of the robbers into the bank.

He explained that the strong room had two main doors, including an emergency one, and investigations showed that the robbers opened the emergency room with a key, before taking out some iron bars that protected it to get access to the money.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Ahodwo roundabout

The pictures below show the new look of the Ahodwo roundabout in Kumasi which was recently refurbished.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two poisoned by gas at Nnatony Gas in Kumasi

IN what police suspected to be gas poisoning, two workers of the Nnatony Gas Filling Station at Ohwimase in Kumasi, were killed inside a huge cylindrical gas tank in an attempt to clean it.

Benjamin Mbah, a 35-year-old engineer of the company, and Twumasi Agyapong, 32, an apprenticed engineer, were found dead in the tank without any protective cover when a rescue team from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) entered the tank.
Their remains had been deposited at the morgue at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for autopsy.(above is the gas cylinder which the two deceased persons entered)
Acting Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Seth Oteng, said the autopsy would enable them to tak further action on the case.
He, however, stated that, the properitor of the station, Mr Tony Nimako, was invited to the station on Monday for questioning and released on bail.
ACP Oteng did not disclose details of the proprietor’s statement but said, the man stated that he was not at the station when the incident occured.

The acting regional commander said, it was a routine duty for workers to go inside the tank to clean it and added that for at least ten occasions, the deceased persons had undertaken such exercise without any problem.
ACP Oteng said, on Monday, the two were detailed to clean the tank, which was supposed to be empty. It was Benjamin who first entered the tank at about 7.40am and within minutes his colleague joined him in in the facility in a bid to clean it.
The acting commander indicated that, after about thirty minutes when there was no sign that they were coming out, the Fire Service was called in.
On entering the tank, however, the two were found dead with foam gushing out of their mouths and nostrils.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Calm prevails at Kwabre West NPP constituency

A Kumasi High Court has ruled that the elected executives of the Kwabre West Constituency of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are still the legitimate and constitutionally elected executive members.
The members are Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, chairman, Alex Boakye Dankwah, secretary, Owusu Afriyie Elijah, assistant secretary, Joseph Boakye Dankwa, treasurer, Patrick Frimpong, youth organiser and Hannah Appiah, women’s organiser.

(PIX: Odeneno Kwaku Appiah, constituency chairman)

This followed an action initiated by the executives praying the court to declare null and void a purported vote of no confidece masterminded by Mr Kofi Anane, Nana Appiah Kubi, Omono Asamoah all of Kwabre West and the Ashanti Regional Executive of the NPP per its chairperson.
The plaintiffs sought the declaration that the action which was organised on November 11, 2006 was unconstitutional and inconsistent with or in contravention of article 10 of the NPP constitution.
Plaintiffs, in their statemant of claim, said they were constitutionally elected into office as Kwabre West constituency executives of the NPP on September 16, 2005.
They said Article 10 of the NPP constitution stated that a removal of an elected executive member within any constituency of the party was the exclusive constitutional prerogative of the constituency executives subject to some strict constitutional requirements. Plaintiffs argued that whenever 40 percent of the delegates that elected those executives within the constituency gave written notice to the constituency of their intentions to remove the executives or any member from office, the chairperson of the constituency “shall within one week of receipt of the notice circulate such notice to all delegates and shall thereafter, within one month, summon an emergency delegates conference to deliberate and decide on the matter”.
The High Court presided over by Mr Justice Frank Amoah said the defendants had no constitutional mandate or jurisdiction to convey the said emergency delegates conference which declared the vote of no confidence in the executives.
Justice Amoah declared that it was only the constituency chairperson who had the constitutional mandate or jurisdiction pursuant the constitution of the NPP to convey particularly, constituency delegates conference and that, that constitutional power could never be exercised by the Ashanti Regional Executive members.
The court said the purported assumption of the office by Mr Anane, Nana Appiah Kubi, Omono Asamoah as the Chairperson, 1st and 2nd Vice Chairpersons respectively of the Kwabre West NPP constituency was unconstitutional and ultra vires of the constitution of the NPP.
The court, therefore, issued an order restraining the defendants from performing the constitutional functions of the plaintiff as well as purporting to hold themselves out as the substantive constituency executives.
It further issued an order temporarily restraining the defendants from purporting to nominate, appoint, elect or present any persons as delegates from the Kwabre West constituency to participate in the December 22 NPP National Delegates Conference to be held in Accra.
It also issued a consequential order that restrained Mr Anane from sending, presenting and or purporting to nominate and send any list of names of any delegates to take part in the December 22 national delegates conference except the plaintiffs who have such constitutional rights to do so.
Cost of GH¢ 1000 was assessed against the defendants.
Following the declaration by the court, the constituency members met last Saturday at Adwumakaasekese and elected their delegates for the December 22 national delegates conference in Accra.

The elected members were Mr Emmanuel A. Owusu Ansah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwabre West and Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Obiri Yeboah, Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr Kofi Karikari, Presiding Member of the Kwabre District Assembly, Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, constituency chairman, Alex Boakye Dankwah, Secretary, Omono Asamoah, Vice Chairman, Hannah Appiah, Women’s Organiser, Opoku Aggyemang, Polling station chairman, Adwumakaasekese, Amoah Fordjour, Polling station chairman Ejuratia and Dua Mensah, Polling station chairman, Atimatim.

Woman dies after excessive alcohol intake

A 20 year old woman, who boasted before some young men in Kumasi that she could quaff a full bottle of the alcoholic beverage, “Pusher Gin Betters” ended up losing her life after consuming the stuff.

The deceased, Akua Ataa, was pronounced dead by doctors at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) some five hours after she consumed the drink at the Canadian Drinking Spot at the military barracks in Kumasi.

An eyewitness said at about 4pm on Thursday, December 6, 2007, the deceased went to the Canadian Spot and met a group of young men at the spot drinking various brands of alcoholic beverages.

According to the eyewitness, the deceased boasted before the men that she could quaff a bottle of pusher gin within five minutes without any problem and challenged them to buy her one bottle because that particular drink was not only her favourite but had been taking a full bottle regularly .

While some of the men disputed her claim, insisting that a full bottle of the drink would put her to sleep for hours, the woman dared them to it.

In the ensuing argument, one of the young men paid for the cost of a bottle of the pusher gin bitters and gave it to Ataa who finished the drink within minutes to cheers from the onlookers.

After she had finished drinking the bitters, the woman demanded a bottle of Coca Cola to “top” what she had just drank. They bought it for her and she took it.

Minutes later she collapsed onto her seat but thinking that she was drunk, the men quickly brought mashed kenkey with milk and offered it to her as a way of energising her, but she did not respond to the calls to stand up.

Ataa was left there for sometime, hoping that she would regain her strength, but when they realised that she was still not responding to attempts to wake her up, they rushed her to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for treatment.

A source close to the Public Relations Directorate of KATH said the woman was brought to the hospital around 9;15 pm on Thursday, at a time that “her heart had completely stopped beating and the eye not responding to any light”.

The source said “medical examination proved that she was dead before she was brought to the hospital”, stressing that if she had been brought earlier, the medical officers would have been able to revive her.

The body of the deceased had been deposited at the mortuary awaiting autopsy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cop faces trial for alleged murder

Police Constable Dennis Aryee of the Akomadan Police who allegedly shot and killed a suspected illegal timber operator on the Nkenkensu-Akomadan road has been remanded into prison custody by the Offinso Court.
He was charged with the offence of murder when he was arraigned last Monday, December 3, 2007.
His plea was not taken and would re-appear on December 17, 2007. This is to enable the police conduct further investigations into the matter.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Police Commander, ACP Seth Oteng confirmed this to the Daily Graphic.
Constable Aryee who fled his station after allegedly killing Yaw Agyen on a moving KIA cargo truck was picked up last Friday by the Police.
On Wednesday December 28, 2007, Constable Aryee was said to be on guard duty when the deceased and a group allegedly entered a teak plantation to fell teak.
While transporting the logs to Akomadan on a KIA cargo truck, Constable Aryee who was on guard duty at a construction company signaled the driver of the truck to stop but he refused.
The Policeman was said to have opened fire from his AK 47 rifle and hit Agyen, who was then sitting on top of the logs.
Agyen died on top of the vehicle but the driver sped off until he got to Akomadan where the body was brought down.
The constable went back to the police station to deposit his weapon and went into hiding, refusing to disclose the shooting incident.
The shooting incident subsequently resulted in a mob attack on the Akomadan Police station, with destruction to property.

Owabi Dam under threat

CONTINUED sand winning and farming activties in the catchments of the Owabi Dam, which provides portable water to residents of Kumasi, are posing a serious threat to the lifespan of the dam.

Officials feared unless action was taken to stop the development, Kumasi and its residents would face severe water shortage in the near future since the volume of water could reduce heavily.

The sand winners have completely cleared parts of the forest reserve, which protects the Owabi River, which empties into the dam.

The forest prevents siltation as well as rapid evaporation of the water in the dam from the intense sun.

On an inspection tour it was detected that there was serious logging and clearing of the bushes in the catchments to the extent that many big trees have all been cut to pave way for sand winning.

It was also detected that parts of the forest had been cleared and pillars had been erected giving an indication that someone was allocating the plots to prospective developers.

The trend of encroachment if not checked could put the dam in danger in the near future, pre-empting a looming water crisis in Kumasi in the coming years.

The Owabi Dam was built to produce a total of 12million gallons of water a day but it currently produces only about three million gallons a day to supplement that of the Barekese Dam in the provision of pipe borne water for residents of Kumasi and its surrounding areas.

There were 10 tipper trucks in the catchments being filled with sand to be hauled away at the time of the visit.

It was, however, gathered that an average of 15 tipper trucks were available daily in the catchments to haul sand.

Four different access roads to the catchments had been created by the sand winners and many men were on site at vantage points busily digging for sand at the time of the visit.

A source said the sand winners were mainly from Bokankye, Nyankyereniase and Apatrapa and that the sand winning started about three years ago.

Although the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) had on numerous occasions appealed to neighbouring villages to desist from clearing the forest cover and to discontinue with the sand winning that seems to be falling on deaf ears.

Information gathered indicated that security personnel of the GWCL have on numerous occasions sacked the sand winners from the catchments and seized their equipment yet the practice is unrelenting. The practice is said to have started on a gradual note and was now very vibrant.

For instance a number of houses totalling about 400 are known to have been illegally constructed in the Owabi catchment area and out of this 140 of them were demolished in 1998.

Just before the rest could be razed to the ground, the encroachers obtained a court injunction from a Kumasi High Court to restrain the GWCL and the case had since been pending.

The company subsequently refused to accept any negotiated settlement to the encroachment on the Owabi Dam catchment area to allow the illegal structures built there to remain.

It was gathered that as a result of the activities of the sand winners, any time it rained, polythene materials and sand washed into the dam, polluting it and reducing the depth of the water gradually.

The natives are said to have vowed to continue clearing the forest for farming purposes and sand winning as a means of livelihood unless compensation were paid to them.

They claim compensation for the land has not been paid to them since the construction of the dam and as a result their only source of livelihood depended on the land.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gangster lifestyle gaining roots in Kumasi

SECURITY reports of the emergence of gangsters in some surburbs of Kumasi, has once again brought to the fore, the growing security challenges of the metropolis.

Clearly, the once peaceful metropolis of Kumasi is gradualy gaining notoriety for heinous crimes, a situation which continue to put fear in many residents.

This comes in spite of strenuous efforts by the security services to nib the canker in the bud.

Startling revelations about the rate at which gangster lifestyles were gaining roots among the youth in the metropolis, had drum home the need for the police and other security agencies to double their efforts in security control and checks.

A recent case of gangster activity is the manner in which 26-year-old goldsmith, Jordan Osei Yaw, was axed to death by some assailants who attacked him in his room at South Suntreso while he was sleeping on November 24, 2007.

The Police revealed that the deceased was murdered by a gang of six youth based at Bantama in Kumasi.

Using machetes, axe, cutlasses and other sharp objects the gangsters nicodemously entered the deceased’s bedroom and brutally inflicted deep wounds on the head, neck, palms, back and other parts of the body of the deceased, leaving him to bleed to death.

The deceased was said to belong to a rival gang based at Asante New Town and that his gang is also said to be seriously planning to revenge his death.

Undoubtedly, the murder was one of the most serious ever to occur in the metropolis.

Other serious crimes have occurred but in those cases the victims were either shot or stabbed to death. And in those cases it was not under circumstances such as this latest one, where the assailants boldly entered a house, walked past three or four rooms and entered the young man’s room to finish him in just a matter of seconds armed with dangerous implements such as cutlasses and axes. Nothing was stolen from the room, thus ruling out robbery.

That something needs to be done swiftly to help avert such crime would be an understatement.

It is an undeniable fact that present day modernisation has its own set of disadvantages one of which is an upsurge in crime as cities develop and expand. But it should be noted that the rate at which the crime wave is increasing in the Kumasi metropolis is unprecedented and very dangerous to residents.

In 2004 for instance some youth from Asawasi and Zongo clashed under inexplicable reasons leaving behind a number of casualties as they used very dangerous implements to slash themselves and destroyed property worth millions of cedis belonging to law abiding citizens.

One person from Asawasi had one of his fingers severed off while another from Zongo had his right wrist also severed.

On the dawn of January 1, 2004, similar gangs struck at various areas in the metropolis and succeeded in robbing members of the public who attended watchnight service and were on their way home. Some victims were inflicted with cutlass wounds and reported to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for medical attention.

It is difficult to fathom the direction the present generation is heading where people would want to take the law into their hands and settle personal scores with murder. This sort of behaviour is alien to Ghanaian culture.

Although in the recent case of the murder of Yaw Jordan, the motive for the murder was yet to be officially identified, information gathered as of now, points to the fact that it is likely a matter of retaliation.

A few years ago, apart from the central business area, to be specific Kejetia and the Central market where pickpockets used to rob people of their monies and personal belongings, the entire city was peaceful and the crime wave was minimal.

Even with those robbery cases, the perpetrators resorted to stealing on the quiet and taking to their heels. In those times, no force was applied by the pickpockets. They snatched people’s bags at public places and took to their heels.

And they always tried to steal on the quiet where no one was looking. And in those cases too, the robbers mainly chose people they perceived to be naive and ignorant and whose appearances, especially dressing and movements indicated that they were new in town and had probably just arrived in town either from the hinterlands or a different part of the country.

In those days, it was only Kejetia and the central market which was perceived to be very fearsome when it came to matters of robbery.

But the opposite is what is happening today where the crime wave has spread to all parts of the metropolis.

Hitherto burglars went into people’s homes without arms and ammunitions. They resorted to sneaking into people’s homes under the cover of darkness, steal items unnoticed and run away. They either entered people’s homes when no one was around in the afternoon or when the people were sleeping at night and secretly and silently steal and run away, quietly unnoticed.

But these days the robbers strike in broad daylight with weapons and ammunitions. Even when this menace started the robbers normally resorted to the usage of masks to cover their faces to at least go about their activities with their identity not being known.

Surprisingly the trend has changed in latter days and many of these armed robbers go about their operations boldly without covering their faces. You dare challenge them during an attack on you, and you would be counted among the dead.

It is dangerous to enter a taxi these days at night since many taxis in the metropolis are loaded with robbers. They forcibly take away people’s mobile phones and money and throw them out of moving taxis.

About five years ago, a new trend of crime emerged in the metropolis where young men organised themselves into gangster groups nicknaming themselves, “Al Qaeda”, “Taliban” and “Akata” and resorted to fighting among themselves with dangerous implements such as guns, knives and cutlasses as well as harassing, terrorising and robbing lawful citizens of personal belongings on the streets.

When these activities started, the perpetrators approached people without wearing masks and demanded that you hand over your mobile phone and money.

Woe unto you if you had no mobile phone or money on you to offer them, or you dare them, and you end up being slashed with a knife to serve as a remembrance for you never to challenge them.

I recall a case where a friend of mine was slashed for carrying a mobile phone which his attackers claimed was not an expensive one and in another case where someone was also slashed for not carrying a mobile phone or money on him. In those cases the attackers were said to have warned them to carry along with them cash and expensive mobile phones so that the next time they happen to come across them, their booty would be worthwhile.

When the activities of these young men were reported in the media, the city authorities and the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Council (ARCC) then under the leadership of Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Member of Parliament for Subin and former Ashanti Regional Minister blamed the media for over estimating the issue and argued that the media was reporting it as if the entire city of Kumasi was under siege.

I could then understand the Minister’s plight to some extent since as the political head of the region he did not want his region to be perceived as a hub of criminals but rather a peaceful place.

He equally blamed the crimes on modernisation and attributed it to the development of the city and gave the assurance that the security agencies were on top of the issue.

To me the media did what was right and adequately reported on the issue. The media at the time even helped in bringing the situation under control since security was beefed up with the Police Service bringing on board more personnel from other regions to help maintain peace in the region.

That is not to say that security in the region has lapsed in recent times thus the recent upsurge in the crime.

The gangster groups still exist on the quiet in the metropolis and occasionally strike.

I want to believe that the security agencies are up to the task and doing their possible best to clamp down on the menace. To me the security services would succeed in combating this menace if the public would cooperate by volunteering information.