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Crime & Punishment Thu, 12 Jul 2007

Banda says he bought ammunition from police

Accra, July 12, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court was on Thursday told that Haleem Banda, son of Alhaji Asoma Banda, a business tycoon, bought live ammunitions from the Police.

Banda however, said he could not mention the name of the Police officer neither could he tell how much he bought the ammunitions at the Cantonments Police station seven years ago.


Banda is being held on charges of threat of death and possessing firearm and ammunition without lawful authority. Haleem pleaded not guilty and the court remanded him into police custody.


Answering questions under cross-examination Detective Lance Corporal Devine Tornuh, the investigator said Banda's assertion that he bought the ammunitions from the Police could not be true because the Police did not sell ammunitions to the public. Lance Corporal Tornuh said he did not issue a search warrant to the accused after he and eight personnel had gone to Banda's residence at Tesano in Accra for a search.


The investigator, who is also the eight prosecution witness, said during the search, nine blank ammunitions, four pistol ammunitions and pistol holster were found and tendered them in evidence. Witness said when he questioned him about the ammunition he did not utter a word.


On the pump action gun, witness stated that the accused said he had given the gun to his girlfriend called Alice, whom he said did not know the way to her house.

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The investigator said when accused was questioned he stated that he did not have his girlfriend telephone number. When Mr Addo Attuah, counsel for the accused challenged Lance Corporal Tornu of failing to conduct a thorough investigation, witness maintained that he did conduct a thorough investigations and he could not have jump to conclusions.


Witness debunked counsel's assertion that if he had conducted investigation very well he would not have brought accused before court. According to witness, evidence adduced against the accused was enough for him to be put before court.


Witness said he charged accused with attempted murder but when the case was referred to the office of the Attorney General, he was instructed to charge him with a threat of death, possessing firearms and ammunitions without authority.


He admitted that when the new charges were preferred against accused he did obtain statements in respect of that.


Led in evidence by Ms Barbara Sackey, an Attorney, Lance Corporal Tornu said on June 11, this year a case of attempted murder was reported by Emmanuel Kiki Benson and Kofi Okyere-Darko (KOD) and the case was referred to him together with an empty shell.

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Witness said when he visited the scene he did not find any evidence but met some witnesses in the case who told him what had happened. Earlier, Inspector Martin Inigan of the Panthers Units who was among the patrol team said he had known the accused person since 2001, after he (Haleem) was arrested at Osu with a pistol.


Inspector Inigan said in June 2007, an operator of the Police Control Room told him that they had a call at about 2:00am from Cinderella Night Club.


He said when they went to the scene, customers told them that Alhaji Asuman Bandas'son had had a confrontation with others. He said a second distress call was received that Kiki, the operator of the night club was stuck inside.


Inspector Inigan said the patrol team went to the Night club and Kiki narrated what had transpired.


During cross-examination, Inspector Inigan admitted that he did not investigate the matter.

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Haleem was said to have threatened Mr Emmanuel Kiki Banson, a businessman and manager of the Cinderella Night Club at Cantonment in Accra and Mr Kofi Okyere-Darko, a radio presenter, with death. At about 0130 hours on June 10, this year Mr Banson and Mr Okyere-Darko came out of "The Office", a spot in the premises of Cinderella Night Club and met Haleem at the entrance.


The accused for no reason began raining insults on Mr Banson. Mr Okyere-Darko then asked Mr Banson if he knew the accused person. Mr. Banson in response asked Mr Okyere-Darko to follow him to his car. Surprisingly Haleem pursued them amidst words of threat. The accused was alleged to have drawn a pistol and fired three times and pointed the muzzle of the weapon at Mr Okyere-Darko' neck, asking him to talk if he was a man.


Mr Banson then entered the Night club but Haleem allegedly chased him shouting, "Where are you? I will kill you."


Haleem, however, drove off after he could not locate Banson. When a police patrol team arrived at the scene Haleem had left but they found some empty shells.


On June 12, during interrogation, Haleem denied firing at the scene and owing a pistol.

A search conducted in his room led to the discovery of four live pistol ammunitions, nine blank pistol ammunitions and a pistol holster. The case was adjourned to July 20, for defence counsel to cross-examine Deputy Superintendent of Police Raymond Simpi who had earlier testified. 12 July 07

Source: GNA