General News Sun, 23 Aug 2015

How Nuamah died: The inside story

Details are emerging of the gory accident that claimed the life of Ghanaian Times Presidential correspondent, Samuel Nuamah and left others fighting for their lives.

News about the accident on the Accra- Akosombo Highway involving the Presidential Press Corps on Thursday spread like wild fire, leaving many asking questions about the safety of journalists detailed to cover the presidency and other high-profile officials.

A number of journalists, in life – threatening conditions, are meanwhile, receiving treatment at the 37 Military hospital.

The deceased was thrown off the vehicle, crashing his head, when the driver applied the brakes upon bursting a tyre, which obviously precipitated the vehicle’s somersault.

The press corps was returning to Accra from the Volta Regional capital, Ho, where President John Mahama had attended the annual convention of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which he climaxed with the donation of a vehicle to the church.

Interesting Revelations

It has emerged that the GMC Savanna mini bus with registration GB 506 – 12 in which the journalists were travelling, was hired at Ho by a Presidential Staffer in charge of the media for use to Accra as the Civilian Bus with which they had travelled to the Regional capital was said to be engaged over there.

This revelation has angered Ghanaian Times journalists who have lost their colleague in the line of duty.

Reporters were said to have been in a hurry to return to Accra and file their stories on time and in this haste, the boisterous Presidential Staffer went to the Ho main station and chartered two mini buses for them, one of which got involved in the fatal crash at Shai Hills.


Members of the presidential press corps said they had often complained about the safety of the vehicles allocated to them but their complaints had fallen on deaf ears as the presidential staffers thwarted every attempt to report the issue to the President.

A staffer even cynically remarked that “you are not part of the Presidential staff,” when the journalists at one point tried to complain about the state of a vehicle allocated them.

Interestingly, on every Presidential trip, the presidential aides are always seen driving in expensive and more secured four-wheel cross-country vehicles, leaving the poor journalists to their fate.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that journalists at the presidency are treated separately from all other staff around the President.

They are allegedly asked to bring in their own cutlery sets for lunch and are not supposed to use anything from the Flagstaff House.

The Injured

So far, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s Pascaline Amenyo Adadevoh and Napoleon Ato Kittoe of GTV, Patrick Biddah of the Enquirer and William Gyentu of Peace FM are receiving treatment.

The rest are TV3’s Edward Frimpong Kwabi and TV Africa’s Mawusi Gborglah who are also on admission.

Mr Gyentu is said to have regained consciousness but was yet to speak; while Pascaline, Atto Kittoe and Biddah were able to grant interviews.

Ato Kittoe had major parts of his face covered with plaster while TV3’s Edward Kwabi’s neck and right leg were bandaged. Enquirer’s Patrick Biddah had some cuts around his mouth, spotting a swollen jaw.

Police Version

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Police into the accident indicated that the sudden brake applied by the driver when the tyre burst, led to the vehicle veering off the road and somersaulting before landing in mud.

Chief Superintendent Oduro Amanning, Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Tema Regional Police Command told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that observation on the road revealed signs of brake applied by the yet-to-be identified driver from a distance after a suspected tyre burst.

“We suspect the vehicle was on top speed and, applying brake after a tyre had burst, definitely the car would veer off and summersault,” he said, adding, “The driver could have handled the car carefully after the tyre burst but we suspect he applied the brake.”

He said the police observed that the driver might have exhibited unprofessional driving tactics when the left rear tyre got burst.

Presidential Visit

President John Mahama and his Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, together with Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, visited the injured journalists at the 37 Military Hospital, Thursday night.

The President gave the assurance that the government would ensure that the victims received ‘proper’ medical care.

Dr Omane Boamah personally telephoned Samuel Nuamah’s wife, Lillian, who is domiciled in the United States to console her on the unfortunate loss and promised her of government’s support.

Family Visit

Management staff of New Times Corporation, publishers of Ghanaian Times as well as a delegation from the presidency and the National Media Commission (NMC) paid separate visits to the bereaved journalist’s family yesterday.

David Etse Agbenu, Editor of Ghanaian Times, described Mr Nuamah’s death as a ‘big blow’ to the profession, clarifying that “he was a gem, he was flawless and dedicated to his work. It is a big blow to the newspaper. I cannot find words to describe it, it is a real blow.”

Mr Nuamah’s mother, Georgina Opoku said she was devastated at her son’s untimely death.

“Sammy means so much to me; I don’t know how to put myself together…this loss has taken a toll on my life. I wish I had rather woken up to the news that he’d been in coma and not this tragic loss.”

Emmanuel Asamoah, younger brother of the deceased, said the family was shattered over his death and struggling to come to terms with the situation.

“For now, it has been disclosed to everyone but they are not taking it easy at all. We are still circulating the information so maybe by tomorrow, the family would meet,” he said.

Mr Nuamah’s body is currently deposited at the 37 Military Mortuary Morgue. He left behind a wife and a two-and-half year old son.
Source: dailyguideghana.com
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