The feud between the Central Regional Minister, Samuel Sarpong (Hercules II), and a tipper truck driver, Yaw Owusu, has taken a dramatic turn, with the police jumping to the defense of the political head by dragging the latter to the court to answer charges of careless driving.
Last Tuesday, December 5, 2013, the Kasoa police, acting on the orders from ‘above’, hurriedly took the tipper truck driver to the Agona Swedru Circuit Court, after re-arresting him on Monday, December 4, 2013, and charged him for careless driving.
The ordeal of the poor driver comes exactly a month after his employers, Henry Goldberg Haulage, had sued the boxer Minister, together with his bodyguard, driver and the Ghana Police Service at a Cape Coast High Court for assault and battery. ‘Hercules II’, The Chronicle learnt, has entered appearance and is bent on clearing his name.
Luckily for Yaw Owusu, the court did not sit that fateful day, since the Presiding Judge was indisposed and had to postpone hearing to a yet-to-be announced date, which would be communicated to him by the prosecutor.
The move by the Kasoa police has raised eyebrows about the way they are handling the poor tipper truck driver against the Regional Minister who happens to be the head of security in the region.
It is, however, not clear what might have influenced their action to drag Yaw Owusu all the way to the Agona Swedru Circuit Court, when they have the Awutu Magistrate Court within their jurisdiction. Now that the battle lines have been drawn between the boxer minister and the tipper truck driver, it remains to be seen who will win.
Minister cages driver
On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, the 43-year-old tipper driver was caged by the Central Regional Minister, after allegedly being subjected to severe beatings by the regional political head, his bodyguard and driver on the Winneba-Kasoa road. He was accused of damaging the Ministers’ car.
He was directed by the Minister to pay the cost of damage done to his vehicle, with registration number GB 265-12, before being released from the Kasoa police cells.
The cost of damage, according to analysis conducted by the body and paint workshop of Toyota Ghana Company Limited, was estimated at GH¢6,437.24.
‘Hercules’ victim goes partially deaf
Yaw Owusu, in his narration, told how he suffered at the hands of the regional political head and his boys, claiming that he was heavily assaulted by the group, making it hard for him to hear properly.
‘I was turned into a punching bag by the Minister. He gave me some hefty slaps, while his bodyguard and driver knocked my ribs and tummy with blows I have never experienced in my life, before dragging me into his vehicle to lock me up at the Kasoa Police Station,’ the sad-looking tipper truck driver bemoaned.
Boxer Minister sued
Alarmed by the handiwork of the Minister, the lawyers for the tipper truck driver and his employees, on Friday November 1, 2013, dragged the boxer Minister, together with his body guard, Ghana Police Service, and his driver, to the Cape Coast High Court to explain why their victim was subjected to threats and severe beatings, thereby, rendering him partially deaf.
In the suit filed by ACA Law Consult Limited, Yaw Owusu (1 st plaintiff) is praying to the court to award him GH¢100,000 (¢1bn old cedis) as damages for assault and battery, in addition to GH¢31.00 compensatory damages for multiple injuries as a result of the battery.
Furthermore, he is praying the court to award him loss of earnings for the two weeks he had to stay at home without work. His employers, Henry Goldberg Haulage Limited (2 nd plaintiff), on the other hand, is also praying the court to award them loss of earnings for the two weeks their truck was grounded, as well as costs.
The plaintiffs argue that on October 8, 2013, at about 2:00 p.m., Yaw Owusu was in the normal course of his business driving a tipper truck with registration number GS 7484 -09, which was loaded with sand on the Winneba-Kasoa road, heading towards Accra.
According to Yaw Owusu, as a result of a road traffic accident which had occurred earlier on the said road, there was huge vehicular traffic, and as a result, motorists were moving at a slow pace.
He said the defendants, Samuel Sarpong (Central Regional Minister), Kwame Olympio (bodyguard), and Akwasi Afrifa (the Minister’s driver), while driving in a Toyota Land Cruiser with registration number GB 265 -12, negligently drove in the middle of the main road towards Accra without due care and skill, endangering life and property, and crossed the tipper truck being driven by the first plaintiff.
The plaintiffs, in the writ of summons, argued among other things, (a) that the Defendants owed a duty of care to the Plaintiff and to other road users while driving; (b) that the Defendants breached the duty owed to the Plaintiff and other road users by driving in the middle of the road without due care and skill; (c) that Plaintiff, upon noticing the Defendants lack of due care, prompted the defendant about the negligent driving, which inflamed the egos of the Defendants; (d) that the Defendants rushed out of their car, leaving the right passenger’s door open, and without consideration to other road users, and without any warning to the Plaintiff, pulled the Plaintiff out of the tipper truck; and (e) that Plaintiff had no time to engage the brakes, thus the tipper truck rolled to a stop, which caused damage to the vehicle the Defendants were in.