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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 12 February 2015


Alleged gay saved by Nima Police

There was heavy police presence at New Town, Abavana Down and Mamobi, all suburbs of Accra, yesterday following an attack on a man accused of engaging in homosexuality.
The man, identified as Mr Albert Appiah, was attacked last Sunday and the video of a group of men beating him against a dark background went viral on social media immediately.
An alleged suggestive chat between Mr Appiah and a man identified as Mr Salim Abubakar also went viral on social media.
The messages exchanged between the two suggested that they were gay partners. In the chat, the two agreed to meet last Sunday after the clash between Ghana’s Black Stars and the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.
Though the faces of the people meting out the assault could not be seen in the video, their voices could be heard accusing their victim of being a homosexual.
Mr Appiah, popularly known as Kinto Rothmans, is the organiser of the popular Friday Friends event for tertiary and senior high school students, a weekly party at the Silver Lounge at the Accra Mall.
The Nima Divisional Police Command confirmed to the Daily Graphic that a man identified as Barry Abu had been arrested in connection with the alleged physical assault on the suspected homosexual.
Abu has been charged with assault and causing harm and is expected to be arraigned before the Accra Circuit Court.
When contacted, the Nima Divisional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Nuhu Jango, said Abu, who was suspected to be one of the people who assaulted Mr Appiah, had been processed for court following the completion of preliminary investigations by the police.
He said Mr Appiah, who had gone to the Nima Police Station with blood all over his body, filed a report of assault against Abu.
“He had a cut on his forehead and complained of bodily pains. So we asked him to go to hospital. We will call him when we want him,” said Mr Jango.
According to him, preliminary investigations suggested that the gay allegations had been cooked up against the victim but said “investigations are still ongoing”.
Mr Jango explained that the victim had told the police that he had become friend of Mr Abubakar through social media and that the two of them had been visiting each other.
On Sunday, he said, the victim claimed he had gone to see Mr Abubakar and while they were having a chat by Mr Appiah’s car, “from nowhere four men alleged that Kinto was sodomising Salim”.
He said the men pounced on Mr Appiah and beat him up mercilessly. The suspects allegedly demanded a ransom to spare Mr Appiah.
He said the suspects took Mr Appiah to an automated teller machine (ATM) to withdraw money for them, since, at the time of the assault, he (Appiah) did not have money on him.
To ensure that the attack did not degenerate into something else, he said, the police had stepped up patrols in the three communities.
Some people, including musician Efya, expressed disgust at the brutal assault meted out to Mr Appiah on suspicion of him being gay.