Osei Akoto Appiah, proprietor of Peeps Drinking Spot at Asylum Down, Accra, has been arrested for allegedly shooting two riders who had earlier shot and killed 34-year-old William Sarpong, a security officer with Ghana Airport Company.
One of the motor riders died in the process. This has become a subject of controversy as some Nima youth mobilised themselves to attack the Kotobabi Police Station in a reprisal attack, because they suspected a police cover-up.
Suspect Akoto Appiah, who is said to have confessed to shooting Saddam Abdullai, according to information gathered, is in the custody of the Accra Regional Police Command awaiting trial. His registered Mossberg pump action gun, licensed L 448876, has since been retrieved by the police.
Sarpong, last Saturday night, February 22, was said to have been shot and killed by two persons on a motorbike while he was drinking with friends at the spot.
Saddam Abdullai fell off the bike when attempting to escape after the shooting, but it is alleged that the proprietor, who owned the gun, shot him, resulting in his death.
Information gathered revealed that Mr. Akoto exposed how he saw the suspects who attempted to flee after shooting at his customers–one of whom was fatally hit by a bullet.
This information came to light after an autopsy on the body of Saddam Abdullai, 22, one of the suspected assailants, revealed pellet marks at his back.
Earlier report suggested that Saddam was sitting as a pillion rider with his escapee accomplice on their unregistered motorbike and attempted to escape when he fell from the bike and was reportedly lynched by an angry mob.
His friend, however, escaped with gunshot wounds, according to police reports.
But this report did not go down well with his friends at Nima, who subsequently mobilized themselves to attack the Kotobabi Police Station.
Confirming the arrest of the bar owner to DAILY GUIDE, Chief Superintendent Frank Adufati, the Accra Regional Police Crime Officer, said information received indicated that around 11:30 pm two men on an unregistered motorbike, without provocation, stopped at Peeps Drinking Spot, Asylum Down, where people were drinking.
The suspects allegedly shot indiscriminately and in the process, killed William Sarpong who was drinking with two of his friends in front of Scholars International School, opposite the drinking spot, and sped off.
Akoto Appiah, who was also in the bar and armed, returned fire at the riders, according to the police officer.
Suspect Sadam, the motor rider, was hit and so he fell off the bike.
An angry mob was said to have descended on him and lynched him.
A piece of metal object suspected to be part of a spent cartridge, was retrieved from the scene.
According to Chief Superintendent Frank Adufati, efforts were being made to apprehend the motor rider, while investigations continue.
The death of Saddam Abdulai has been mired in controversy. The father of the deceased, Abdulai Osumanu, a livestock seller around the New Times Corporation, Accra, has disputed the police narration that the young man was lynched and that they only picked up the corpse after the crime.
The deceased’s father said his son and others had assembled at the spot when he left to buy water to drink, using his friend’s motorbike. When he was returning with his friend as a pillion rider, some policemen chanced upon them and flagged them to stop.
“I do not know what happened at this stage, but a bullet from one of the policemen hit him and he fell down. The pillion rider took a bullet on the foot and fled the scene. A passerby too was hit and he died,” Mr. Abdulai Osumanu said.
An autopsy report would put to rest the controversy as to whether the deceased was lynched or killed by an AK 47 as his father alleged.
Some youth of Nima a few days ago, embarked on a demonstration concerning the death of Saddam.
Eleven suspects, with others said to be friends of the deceased, stormed the location when they heard about what had befallen their pal in a vengeful mood.
Seven people, who were part of a youth group that attempted to attack the Kotobabi Police Station with offensive weapons, were on Thursday denied bail by an Accra Circuit Court, and have subsequently been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and rioting with weapons.
The accused persons are Ibrahim Amadu, Francis Nabil, Abdala Musa, Salifu Suraku, Alex Kwao, Aliu Suleman and Samuel Homadzi.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded into prison custody to reappear on March 13, 2014.
However, when the case was called, counsel for the accused persons, Alidu Mohammed’s plea for the court, presided over by Mrs. Ellen Vivian Amoah, to grant them bail was not considered.
Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Michael Jubiek said on February 25, this year, at around 11:30 am, police had information that a group of young men numbering about 500 on motorbikes and others on foot holding clubs, pieces of stick, stones and other offensive weapons, were marching to the Kotobabi Police Station to attack the station.
He said the attack was to revenge the lynching of their pal, Saddam Abdulai, on the night of February 22 at Asylum Down, a suburb of Accra.
Chief Inspector Jubiek stated that the youth alleged that their friend died as a result of an encounter with the police.