Police pick 4 suspects in Tamale hospital CEO attack

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Four persons suspected to have been part of the group that attacked the Chief Executive Officer of the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), Dr. David Zaawumya Akolbila on Monday have been arrested by the police.

The four, said to be members of the Kandahar Boys, a Tamale-based vigilante group affiliated to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) were picked up from the base at Aboabo, a Tamale suburb on Wednesday afternoon.

They were picked following a joint military and police operation. 

The Northern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr. Mohammed Yussif Tanko told Graphic Online that, the suspects have been placed in custody and would be screened as part of investigations.

Read also: Tamale Teaching Hospital CEO’s office reopened

“We managed to round up four persons, for now we are not certain whether they are part of the suspects we are looking for or not, but we have invited the CEO of TTH [Tamale Teaching Hospital] and other staff to come and help with identification,” he said.

“The police have also located the home of Alhaji Baba Alhassan, the young man captured in a video speaking on behalf of the group, we went to his house but he was not around. Efforts are been made to get him arrested to help in the investigation” he added.

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Some members of ‘Kandahar’ Boys, youth group last Monday locked out Dr Akolbila on allegations that he was incompetent and corrupt.

Since Dr Akolbila was not in the office when the group arrived, the group chased out his secretary, after which they locked up the offices and took the keys with them.

A letter from the group claimed that the CEO had awarded contracts to seven companies he owned and operated.

It further alleged that “Dr Akolbila is in bed with the procurement officer and contracts are trafficked on a daily basis in the hospital”.

The letter also claimed that the CEO had issued threats to staff who complained about his management style.

Dr Akolbila, has since been able to return to work after the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, led members of the Northern Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) to the hospital on Tuesday to reopen the CEO’s office.

Following the attack, doctors, nurses and midwives of the hospital on Tuesday laid down their tools in solidarity with Dr. David Akolbila.

The strike by the health workers is impeding health care delivery at the facility as patients who reported at the major referral centre on Wednesday were left stranded at the Out Patient Department (OPD) and on the verandas of the facility.

A closed-door meeting with members of the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and the leadership of the staff over the strike, which was aimed at persuading them to go back to work ended inconclusive on Wednesday morning.

At the meeting, Graphic Online gathered the leadership of the various unions unequivocally condemned the unlawful attack.

They insisted unless their security concerns at the hospital were addressed by REGSEC, they will not call off the strike.