Sekondi-based chief fisherman ‘tows’ suspected thief

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu
The victim after the incident
The victim after the incident

A chief fisherman at Sekondi did the unthinkable when he allegedly used a rope to tie a suspected thief to the back of his pickup vehicle and dragged him on the street for about a kilometre as his punishment.

The suspect, identified only as Panyaa, accused the victim, Akwasi Arthur, of stealing a piece of wood meant for his project.

The act has sent shock waves through the community as some residents claimed that  Arthur was not caught stealing but was rather accused on suspicion.

The Sekondi District Police Commander, Deputy Superintended of Police (DSP) Mr Emmanuel Tetteh, confirmed to the Daily Graphic that the case had been reported to the police and that a search had been mounted for the chief fisherman and other suspects.

He said the police had visited the hospital to speak to the victim who appeared traumatised.

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However, he said, doctors had indicated that he was out of danger.

At large

Residents described Panyaa as a well-known man in the Sekondi and Adiembra communities.

Panyaa is said to have defended his action, explaining that it was a punishment for stealing his piece of wood meant for a project he was undertaking.

According to an eyewitness, the victim, who is on admission at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital with serious injuries, denied stealing the wood but was forced by Panyaa and his accomplices to admit to the act.

The victim claimed that after admitting to the offence under duress, he was subjected to severe beatings before he was tied to the back of the vehicle.

 Victim speaks

 Arthur sustained injuries on the left thigh, buttocks, his back and the left arm.

 At his bedside, Arthur told reporters that he did not steal the piece of wood.

He said he picked a taxi from the Adiembra area heading to another location after he was unable to secure a job to weed backyards for residents.

He said on his way, a Toyota Tundra Pickup chased and crossed the taxi.

Arthur said the men in the vehicle pulled him out of the taxi and to his surprise, he was accused of stealing wood the previous night.

He said Panyaa told him that the stolen wood was for his project, and that he suspected him (Arthur) as the one who had stolen it.

Arthur said he did everything to defend himself but the men would not listen, adding that Panyaa took him to a location where the said wood was allegedly stolen.

He said they forced him to admit to the act or they would kill him, and upon admission, the chief fisherman and his men beat him and then tied him to the vehicle and drove off, dragging him along the street.

Fruitless attempt

According to Arthur, Panyaa and his gang said they wanted to teach him a lesson so that whether he died or survived he would not attempt stealing again.

The eyewitness said some onlookers who tried to intervene were unsuccessful as Panyaa and his group continued to drag the suspect and finally stopped in front of a mosque near the Adiembra taxi rank, leaving him with serious injuries.

According to the witness, a taxi driver picked Arthur up and rushed him to the hospital while others went to the police station to report the incident.