A 50-year-old man met his untimely death Friday morning at the Timber Market in Accra when a stray bullet from a police officer who was struggling with an okada rider hit him in the belly.
In the ensuing confusion, the policeman ‘vanished’ from the scene, leaving traders and other passers-by to take the victim, identified as Efo Teiko, a pipe bender at the market to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in attempt to save his life.
He was however pronounced dead on arrival. The incident happened at about 6:30am.
In his haste to escape from the scene, the policeman who rode an unregistered motorbike, abandoned the motorbike, his helmet and handcuffs at the scene, which were later retrieved by the Jamestown police, where eyewitnesses allege the policeman is stationed.
According to Yaw Yeboah, an eyewitness, the police officer was chasing an okada rider (a commercial motor rider) alleged to be carrying two female pillions from UTC in Accra Central to the Timber Market.
He said on reaching the Timber Market, the police officer who was riding an unregistered Royal Motorbike strategically hit the okada rider's bike. The okada rider fell down together with the two ladies.
He explained that when the okada rider fell down, the police officer, identified only as Rahim by other eyewitnesses, roughed him up and attempted to handcuff him.
He said the okada rider struggled with the policeman during which the latter is alleged to have cocked his gun with his leg and warned the okada rider that he would shoot him if he continued to resist arrest.
Yeboah said the okada rider continued to struggle with him, while the officer beat him with the butt of the gun.
He said the police officer after cocking his gun held the okada rider to the ground, however the gun went off and hit the deceased who was standing in front of someone’s store.
He said when the deceased fell down, the police officer asked those around to get a vehicle so that he could be taken to the hospital.
But according to Mr Yeboah, while the people were looking for a vehicle, the police officer left the scene, jumped onto another okada and left the scene, leaving his handcuff, helmet and motorbike behind. The okada rider also left on his motorbike.
He said a police vehicle from the James Town Police station with registration number GP 3568 came to pick the abandoned motorbike, helmet and handcuff.
The James Town police when contacted, said they could not comment on the matter in the absence of their commander and crime officer, but admitted knowledge of the incident.