Crime & Punishment of Friday, 1 November 2013
Source: Graphic Online
A squatter at the Airport Police Barracks in Accra last Monday allegedly hit his fellow squatter with a car jack, resulting in the latter’s death. That, according to eyewitnesses, followed a misunderstanding between the two regarding the ownership of the jack.
They said Godfred Akumbati, alias Baby, the deceased, who was said to be in his late 30s, and Godfred Bawa, alias Fire, the suspect, were engaged in a scuffle, as both claimed ownership of the abandoned jack.
The witnesses said the incident took place about 3 p.m. after a policeman who lived in the barracks had, earlier in the morning, asked one Solomon Twumasi, popularly called Nana Yaw, also a squatter who occasionally repaired vehicles, to work on his (policeman’s) car for him.
According to them, after Nana Yaw had finished the repair works, the policeman left his jack behind and it was subsequently found by Baby.
Akumbati , they said, kept the jack, hoping to give it back to the owner if he came back for it or sell it if the owner failed to show interest.
When the policeman returned to the spot where he had sent his car for repairs a few hours later and the squatters asked him about the jack, he said he had deliberately abandoned it, as it was no longer useful to him.
According to them, Akumbati, who had kept the jack behind the structures of a local restaurant, was not around when the owner of the jack told the other squatters that he had no need for it.
The answer by the car owner compelled another squatter, who was only identified as Johnson, to quickly take hold of the jack with the intention of selling it.
Shortly after Akumbati had returned from an errand, he told Johnson that he had kept the jack somewhere and would inquire from the car owner if he still needed the jack.
They said while Akumbati and Johnson were arguing, Bawa suddenly emerged and challenged Akumbati’s ownership of the item.
According to the witnesses, Bawa yanked the jack from Akumbati, who had by then collected it from Johnson, and hit Akumbati on the head with the metallic item.
Akumbati was said to have fallen on the ground, with Bawa pouncing on him and raining blows on him while he lay unconscious.
The squatters, led by the mechanic, quickly rushed Akumbati to the Airport Police Station to lodge a complaint, and after taking their statement, the police gave them a medical form to send Akumbati to the Police Hospital.
Akumbati was admitted at the hospital but he died the following day.
Superintendent of Police, Mr Felix Anyidohu, the Crime Officer at the Airport District Police Command, who confirmed the story, said the suspect was currently in police custody awaiting further investigations.