A Ghanaian bus driver based in Finland, Benjamin Ofori, has broken his silence on the death of his friend whom compatriots believe was manhandled by police in Finland.
Speaking exclusively to 3news.com, a visibly shaken and passionate Benjamin Ofori recounted how the incident unfolded.
He said his friend, Samuel Dolphyne, who was a resident in Austria, had come to visit him in Finland and the pair decided to attend a party on Saturday, November 17, 2018.
But on their return the unfortunate happened.
According to Benjamin, there have been speculations and accusations concerning the death of his friend especially from people with no idea of what happened.
“This incident is really sad and I only wish that people and the Finnish media will look and ask for the facts of the incident rather than fabricating stories just to suit their own interest,” he said.
Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat reported that the deceased was “aggressive” when arrested by the police though they tried to resuscitate him when he fell unconscious after he was cuffed.
“I find it necessary to come out now and tell the story as it is and this is not to accuse anyone of anything, but just to say it as it was.
“Sammy, the guy who died, and I were driving home from a party on Saturday when police stopped our car.”
He continued that they asked Sammy to blow the alcohol meter two times and he did that and asked him how much alcohol he had consumed.
The deceased replied that he had just a bottle of beer, he narrated.
According to him, they were still sitting in the car when Sammy decided to get down and approach the police.
“I asked him to sit down but he went anyway so I assumed that he wanted to plead with the police but after sitting in the car for about 3 minutes, I came down to check why Sammy hasn’t come back.
“When I got down, I saw Sammy on the floor and the police trying to handcuff him. He was shouting for help and he called my name and said they are killing me. I can’t breathe, I have asthma.
“From where I was standing, I was shouting at the police to leave him but they asked me to leave the scene because I was obstructing them. They continued to cuff him until he was not moving anyway. I don’t know for sure why the police did not stop cuffing him [when] he lamented.
“They may have their own reasons but after failing to revive him they called the paramedics who rushed him to hospital.
“I did not see what happened before he was put to the ground. All I know is that he was not aggressive when the police checked his alcohol level, and he was not aggressive when I saw him on the floor. From what I saw on the floor, I can only say that he was struggling and fighting for his life.”
He pointed out that he doesn’t usually go to parties in his own car as using public transport is free for him as a driver.
“I don’t take my car because I know that I may be tempted to drink. For me, I don’t drink and drive.”
However, on the fateful day, his guest wanted to drive the car and he was enjoying driving it, he said.
“That is the main reason why we went with a personal car in the first place. Speculations that I was the one driving the car and quickly gave it to Sammy when the police stopped us are all lies aimed at tarnishing my name. Other speculations that Sammy sped off when the police stopped the car are also false and lie.
“I want to strongly say that any other story related to this incident that deviates from what is said here is not accurate. The only part of the incident I can’t comment on is what actually happened between Sammy and the police before they pinned him down. And what happened when the ambulance took him to the hospital.”
By Nana Afrane Asante|Helsinki, Finland|3news.com