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General News of Thursday, 9 November 2000

Source: GNA

Motorway accident driver before tribunal

An Accra Circuit Tribunal on Wednesday remanded in prison custody, the driver and mate of a mini-bus, accused of causing the accident involving the presidential convoy on the Accra- Tema motorway on October 29.

The driver, Daniel Dawutey Chakitey, 30 was charged with manslaughter and negligently causing harm, while the driver's mate, Samuel Kawbena Cudjoe, was charged with abetment. Their plea was not taken and they will reappear on November 16.

Chief Inspector Edward Antwi told the tribunal, chaired by Mr. Ziblim Moru that Chakitey plies between Somanya, in the Eastern Region and Accra with his mate. On October 29 Chakitey carried passengers from Ashaiman to Accra and on their way back from Accra, he decided to use the motorway, because the tunnel he travelled through earlier was waterlogged.

He said at the end of the motorway near Tetteh Quarshie circle, Chakitey stopped and picked two passengers. The accused then drove on the outer lane of the motorway while the President's convoy was on the inner lane heading towards Tema.

Chief Inspector Antwi said on reaching a spot near the Ashaiman tunnel Chakitey suddenly crossed the presidential convoy with the intent to turn to Ashaiman through an unapproved route.

He said the president's car nearly ran into Chakitey's bus, but the President swerved but a Mercedes Benz saloon car carrying the president's bodyguards ran into the bus, which eventually hit the side of the president's car.

Chief Inspector Antwi said the Benz saloon car skidded, hit the embankments between the two roads, somersaulted into the other lane and crashed into an approaching pick-up car, instantly killing Corporal Kwame Boateng, Corporal Kwabena Aboagye, Lance Corporal Kweku Ewun-Tomah and Lance Corporal Martin Kumashie. Five others, including the president and his wife sustained injuries.

The prosecutor said Chakitey and Cudjoe escaped to Somanya and despite the numerous announcements and notices in the electronic and print media, they failed to report to the police, until they were arrested upon a tip-off by one of the passengers on the bus.

Chief Inspector Antwi told the tribunal that the case was being forwarded to the Attorney's eneral Department for advice.