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Damage to Tema-Mpakadan train pegged at $2.1m – Prosecution tells court

Train 2

According to state prosecutors at an Accra High Court, evaluators from Poland have assessed the cost of repairing a damaged train. Four accused persons are currently on trial for causing damage to a new train intended for the Tema-Mpakadan railway line. During a court session on Thursday, the state replaced the original charge sheet with a new one.

In the new charge sheet laid before the court, the prosecution stated that the first accused on the day of the accident, bought some concrete blocks at Juapong in the Volta region and transported them to Abutia also in the Volta region.

After dispatching the blocks, the accused person and his colleagues decided to cross the railway as a shortcut. They, therefore, packed stones on that section of the railway to enable the truck to cross but unfortunately, the truck got stuck. Coincidentally, the Railway Authority was conducting a test run of the train on that same rail line at that moment, resulting in the impact.

According to the state, the cost of damage to the train is up to the tune of $2,138,466.66. The four accused persons have been slapped with four counts including using a railway line in breach of the Railway Act; aiding in endangering persons in the train; using the railway line contrary to the Railway Act; unlawfully placing stones in the railway line contrary to the Railway Act; and causing unlawful damage.

They all pleaded not guilty to all four counts.

Despite a push by the state for the accused persons to be remanded to Nsawam prison, the Court has granted the four accused persons a 200.000 cedis bail with one surety to be justified.

The case has been adjourned to June 27.

When the accident occurred, the Minister for Railways Development, John Peter Amewu, clarified that the responsibility of repairing the train involved in the accident during the test run will not be borne by the state per the purchase agreement. “The train has been sent to the maintenance yard in Tema, where Poland engineers have assessed the extent of damage. Plans are well underway to fix it,” Mr Amewu stated during an interview on JoyNews’ PM Express.

Responding to inquiries about who would cover the repair expenses, Mr Amewu highlighted that Ghana had not yet taken ownership of the train at the time of the incident.

“There was no transfer of ownership. Which means the supplier was still responsible for the train. We’ll get ownership when the government has made the full payment which we haven’t done yet,” he noted.

He added, “So Ghana is not going to bear the cost of repairing the train involved in the accident during the test ride.”

By: Latif Iddrisu

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