Soldiers Beat Castle Boy

A NIGHT of jubilation and merrymaking in the Volta regional capital of turned bloody last Friday night after soldiers from the 66 Artillery Regiment mobbed and battered a fellow soldier. Staff Sergeant Mohammed Mustapha, believed to be attached to the Castle as the bodyguard of Dr. Cadman Mills, the President’s brother, was assaulted for allegedly posing as a soldier. The incident which happened in front of the ORZ Pub between 11:30pm and 12:00am saw revellers who had travelled far and near to Ho for the Asogli Yam festival, running for their lives after two gunshots were fired, according to eyewitness accounts. An eyewitness told DAILY GUIDE the incident which started as a mere verbal confrontation turned bloody as about five soldiers beat up Mustapha till he lay helpless on the street, bleeding from his face, arms, shoulder and chest. The five according to DAILY GUIDE investigations are, Bombardier Emmanuel Nkenseh, Corporal Yakubu Amidu, Bombardier Okyere Abraham, Corporal Justina Bangdome and Corporal Swatson, all of junior rank to their victim. Capt. Anthony Setorwu, Acting Second in Command at the 66 Artillery Regiment who confirmed the incident to DAILY GUIDE said Staff Sergeant Mohammed Mustapha was in town to visit his relatives before the incident happened. He said Mustapha was driving through town when he met a heavy traffic stretching from the Ahoe Roundabout through the front of the ORZ Pub to the Ahoe Market Junction. Mustapha, who was in a military kit, (shorts, t-shirt and cap), parked his car in order to direct traffic to ease vehicular movement. His camouflage outfit attracted the attention of some military personnel from the 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho who were believed to be having fun at the pub at the time. The acting commander said when confronted by the soldiers, Mohammed Mustapha identified himself as a staff sergeant of the One Battalion Infantry at Michelle Camp, Tema but currently attached to the Castle. He showed an ID card to support his claim. Unfortunately for him, the genuineness of ID card was contested by Corporal Bangdome who called it fake because it had sergeant written on it on it instead of staff sergeant. This, Capt. Setorwu said fuelled the confrontation leading to the assault adding that the victim’s explanation that he had recently been promoted and his display of a military communication device (GOTA) to defend his claims, fell on deaf ears. The junior soldiers consequently pounced on their senior colleague, stabbing him in the shoulder in the process with a sharp object believed to be a broken bottle and injuring his face and chest. Eyewitnesses reported the incident to the regiment as many felt a law abiding military person was being lynched by hooligans since the attackers were in mufti. In an attempt to defend himself Mustapha pulled out his pistol and fired two warning shots, warning his assailants to back off. The gunshots attracted a police patrol team who came to his rescue. A military patrol team also arrived after a distress call by some civilians. The victim and his assailants were taken to the Municipal Police Station where Staff Sgt Mohammed Mustapha was correctly identified by other soldiers who were at the scene. Their statements were taken after which Mustapha was taken to the Medical Reception Station of the 66 Artillery Regiment for treatment. Capt. Setorwu said but for the timely intervention of the police and military patrol teams, the unfortunate might have happened because Mustapha lost a lot of blood. He however noted that he is responding to treatment. He described the behaviour of the junior soldiers as uncalled for and childish saying “I think these junior officers were acting out of youthful exuberance and misbehaved. In any case the guy is very popular and it is only because they did not know him.” He noted that apart from the police investigations, two separate investigations are currently ongoing in the military to allow the defence intelligence and military police to get to the bottom of the situation. He added that based on the outcome of the investigations, the officers will be dealt with accordingly.