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Monday, June 7, 2010

Soldiers on rampage; brutalise police, injure three

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Soldiers from the Fourth Garrison in Kumasi have gone on rampage, brutalising more than a dozen policemen at various duty posts in the Kumasi metropolis and leaving three of them unconscious.

In their two-day assault, the soldiers also vandalised property at some police stations and caused some policemen to flee their duty posts.

According to Chief Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko in charge of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ashanti Regional Police Command, the series of attacks began at the Cedar Crescent traffic lights, near the Kotoko training ground, about 4 p.m. last Friday.

He said the traffic lights were off at the time and so two policemen, Constables Abbass Aidoo and David Wahyee, had been detailed to direct traffic at that busy joint

While the two were on duty, a man riding an unregistered motorcycle without a crash helmet came along and the two policemen stopped the motorcycle and questioned the rider, who later identified himself as a military man.

According to the police, in the course of the interrogation, the rider got infuriated and sped off, after he had threatened to bring his colleagues to assault the policemen.

Chief Inspector Tanko said about 5 p.m. on the same day, three other policemen - Inspector Jacob Gyekye, Lance Corporal Opoku Agyemang Prempeh and Constable Hannah Serwah - who were directing traffic at the Bekwai Roundabout saw a number of military men in a military vehicle which had its headlights on.

Thinking that the soldiers were on their way to perform an official duty, the policemen paved the way for them to pass by stopping other vehicles.

However, the soldiers first went to the Cedar Crescent traffic lights where they brutally assaulted Constables Aidoo and Wahyee, tearing their uniforms into pieces in the process.

According to the Police PRO, from there, the soldiers attacked any policeman on sight, including the three at the Bekwai Roundabout who had earlier stopped traffic for the soldiers to pass.

The three policemen reported the incident to the Regional Police Headquarters, where they were issued with medical forms to attend hospital about 5:45 p.m.

Chief Inspector Tanko said about 7 p.m., another policeman, Lance Corporal C. K. Mensah, stationed at Nkawie, was assaulted by some military men at the Sofoline area while he was driving to his station.

That same night, a group of military men in three military vehicles attacked policemen at the Suame Police Station and vandalised their radio equipment and other property, while Corporal G. K. Amedzo, Constable E. Ofosuhene and Constable F. O. Boateng who were on duty at the station were severely assaulted.

After the police station attack, the military men were said to have proceeded to the front of the Soame Ghana Water Company offices where policemen on night duty had mounted a barrier and attempted to attack them but the policemen managed to escape.

About 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, the military men continued the assault with an attack on some Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) officials on duty at the Sofoline area.

According to Chief Inspector Tanko three policemen- Sergeant Peter Oppong, Sergeant E. Obuoman and Lance Corporal Zab Tetteh Mensah - were attacked with hammers and left unconscious.

They were later sent to the Komfo Anokye Teaching hospital (KATH) for treatment.

It would be recalled that on May 20, 2010 two military men got infuriated by decision of officials at Suame to question their driver who was driving without a log book and a driver’s licence.

The two went to the barracks and mobilised their colleagues to assault the police at Suame and fired some gunshots.

Then on May 22, 2010, another soldier who drove carelessly at Asokwa attacked an MTTU officer who tried to point out to him that what he was doing was not right.

Chief Inspector Tanko said the matter had since been reported to the Military High Command, adding that it would be reported to National Security as well.

"This will not deter us from continuing with our duties," he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Joseph Henry Smith (retd), has confirmed that the matter has been brought to his notice.

In an interview, Lt. Gen. Smith said as soon as the news of the alleged assault got to him, he quickly contacted the Interior Minister to discuss how to resolve the matter.

He said they thoroughly checked on what the situation was and were told that senior commanders had already moved in to restore calm and order.

He further explained that he had been informed that a policeman was alleged to have first assaulted a military man on a motorbike after the soldier had shown the policeman his identity card that he was from the military.

He said the General Officer Commanding (GOC), the Northern Command, Brigadier-General Chris Ocran, had personally visited one of the policemen who were admitted at the hospital.

He said the police and the military had also held a social activity to cement the peace.

Lt Gen Smith said the two security agencies were sister institutions working together to maintain peace and appealed to them to endeavour to resort to the appropriate channels should one wrong the other.

Lance Corporal Mensah is still in critical condition at KATH and is receiving medical attention.

He was said to .have been hit in the head with a hammer by the soldiers who had attacked him and two of his colleagues while they were on duty at the Sofolinc area around 5 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Source: Daily Graphic 


uneducated people
dont mine this illiterates in uniform,lazzzy people in uniform who can read and write properly.theres no use for this bunch of loosers.lets stop calling them ghana army since the re not upto 100,000 men and women.the would be better know as defence force.i bet you most of them re school dropouts.democrazy is what the understand.if the strong enough let them volunteer and go to iraq.all of them will be pissing themselves.shame unto that coward uniform
Freedom and JUSTICE
I believe the motto for our dear country is "freedom and JUSTICE" so lets justice prevail, those soldiers are not above the law, they can not be paid by tax payers money and misbehave. also the officer who gave the permission for them to move out should be sacked, or else we are gradually moving towards a situation where soldiers can not be control by the law enforcement and that is just a sign of a coupe detat.
government must act now for "JUSTICE delayed is JUSTICE denied"
Is the Police the Military's Punching Bag?
The military in Ghana, thanks to the numerous coup d'etats, and their access to several sophisticated arms, think they are better than the Police. The story is always "the military brutalizing the police" and not vice-versa. In most of such incidents that occurred in the past, a "peaceful patch-up" is made but the message would already have been sent to the Ghanaian public that the military can at any point in time, beat up the police mercilessly!
Ghana is supposed to be operating a democracy with the principle of Rule of Law having a constitutional backing. If so why do the military so act with impunity? The public is at their mercy so are the police, why?
Are these the so-called 'disciplined' soldiers for whom the country spends so much to train and keep at a barracks so that the high level of discipline instilled in them would not be corrupted?
The military should bow their heads in shame! Running amok in town, beating up policemen who are on duty is the most silly thing anybody would do; and if policemen manning different posts at different centers of the city were attacked then this action was premeditated and thus intentional. Those culpable must be seriously dealt with not in secrecy but in such a way that the public will have access to the process and thus help erase some of the perception currently being held that the police is merely the military's "punching bags".
Let justice prevail in this case. The soldiers' alleged action is disgusting and inimical to our Ghanaian democracy.
I just cant believe am reading something like this.
Its just a shame to our country its leading and the security forces.We need to wake up.its a shame and am just shocked.Dont even know what to say.
Rampaging soldiers
This behavior will keep Africa in the dark ages.
And the government accepts this by lack of swift action.
Lazy army attitude to this violence stinks of corruption.
Pathetic governing by a mojority of Ghana leadership.
We deserve our bad reputation.
We are essentially good strong and courages people, we need to be allowed to behave with honor and pride and take our rightful place in the world. This uncontrolled violence is not self defense but nothing more than animal behavior. These army persoel just insult me. I am ashamed.
obey the rules
Soldier or not, u hav to wear a helmet when u ride a motorcycle. My encounters with soldiers have shown me they feel they are above the laws of the land. If a soldier misbehaves, he shold be dismissed from the force, period. That socialising event is not the answer. It's true the police also go to the extreme but they can also always be repoted to their superiors, going on a rampage is not the solutions.
Gen Smith must resign
Its unfortunate Gen Smith could make those unguided comments. Since the Policemen attacked first, the millitary can go on rampage. Shame on you Gen. Are we in a jungle where might is right. Bow your head in shame. If you are worth your rank, then bring your men to book.
soldiers go on rampage
i guess the common language between the soldiers and the police is " aban" and that usually settles their traffic disputes. To me the stories coming from the side of the police is inadequate for a cluster of soldiers to go on the rampage. The routine police infuriating questions: show me your licence, show me your car papers, show fire extinguisher, open ur boot only to end saying " master i no chop the whole day oh" is very sickening. The whole profession shd better get more professional than we are seeing now otherwise no one will shed any tears when they get themselves beaten up

WHERE IS THE B,N.I arrest and prosecute these junkies without fear or favour! CIVILIAN BRUTALITY IS THE HALLMARK OF GHANA ARMY.
Mr Defence Minister, WHAT NEXT
Is this the best the defence minister can say? Are these military men not going to be disciplined?

You have to show these military men that they cannot take the law into their own hands.

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