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Monday, August 10, 2009

Ghana:Ex-Minister's son shot

Kwesi Osei with his bandaged thigh
Kwesi Osei with his bandaged thigh
Armed men in uniform from the Ghana Police Service on Saturday opened fire on Kwesi Osei, a pre-med student and first born of Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, former MP for Asuogyaman and ex-deputy Minister of Tourism.

The firing saw a live-bullet piercing through the right thigh of Kwesi Osei and shredding some substantial amount of flesh, with his trousers and shoes getting soaked in blood as he sprawled in agonized semi-consciousness struggling to stay alive.

Eyewitnesses who saw the bloody episode said it was an unprovoked attack which was done in a hit-and-run style. They said the bullet narrowly missed Kwesi's groin and that the Police further fired several live bullets in the air and into the crowd before speeding away in a silver-colored Tata Mahindra Scorpio with licence plate number ER 908 W.

The 18-year-old student who is in Ghana for short holidays and expected to return to the University of Virginia in a week's time, was gunned while walking to his car in the company of his friends and cousins.

The Police also reportedly aimed their loaded guns at the chests of three friends of Kwesi Osei and threatened to open fire again when the lads demanded an explanation for the reckless display of fire power.

The incident happened at the Purple Pub in Osu, Accra and witnesses had to abandon their party-time and flee for their lives. The Police Tata Mahindra Scorpio was later spotted driving at top speed into the Police Headquarters on the Ringway.

The rational for the shooting and whether the Police opened fire particularly because of the politician's son was not yet ascertained.

Speaking to DAILY GUIDE, Kwesi Osei said he was with his friends and cousins at the Purple Pub when the Police invaded the place and started to shoot into the air.

"I can't tell for a fact why they came there. All I heard were gunshots and I saw them shot into the air; but they then aimed at the crowd and kept shooting and I got surprised because there were about 200 or so people there and I was like 'wow' this must be crazy.

"When the bullet hit me, I thought it was a blank one because the Police are aware a live bullet can kill but I was shocked it was for real: I had been shot with a live bullet," a traumatized Kwesi Osei narrated.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that when the victim was sent to the 37 Military Hospital at about 2.00am Saturday, he was not attended to as personnel on duty demanded a Police report as a prerequisite for treating such cases.

Kwesi Osei's friends then sent him to the SSNIT Hospital from where they were directed to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. He was finally treated three and a half hours after the gun-shot.

Asked if he could make out the exact Police officer who shot him, Kwesi Osei answered in the affirmative:

"He is dark and a very short Policeman and I can identify the face. There were about fifty or more witnesses around and my friends and cousins can all make him out."

The incident happened at a time the Ghana Police Service has been given an apparent 'shot-to-kill' operation licence with which they have gunned down scores of persons they claim were armed robbers.

Story by Halifax Ansah-Addo/Daily Guide/Ghana

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