Kennedy Arrested; Police Fire Live Bullet
4/17/2012 2:31:12 PM -
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the adjoining Police Headquarters blocks virtually turned into a war zone yesterday evening after the security agents fired live bullets, tear gas canisters and sprayed pepper into the eyes of New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters who had thronged the place following the arrest of Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin North.
Many of the supporters were temporarily blinded by the effect of the pepper spray, a situation that compelled those denied access to the precincts of the headquarters to resort to hurling stones to the place.
It was like a war zone as the police fired bullets to disperse the madding crowd amidst the hurling of stones.
An altercation ensued between the NPP youth and Chief Superintendent Naa Yakubu, Commander of the Armoured Car Squadron, who led the spirited attack on the unarmed civilians who were protesting the arresting of the NPP chieftain.
The attempt to whisk Mr Agyapong, who recently broke the news of the Alfred Agbesi Woyome fraud, was met with stiff resistance by the angry supporters.
For close to 30 minutes, the MP was kept in the monster-looking 'Black Maria' truck with registration number GP 2619, while the police were waiting for instructions on where to detain him overnight.
He was eventually taken away to the Ridge headquarters of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) around 7:30pm.
Unconfirmed reports said that two persons were run over by one of the police armoured cars carrying Ken to the BNI office.
They were said to have died instantly.
But acting Police Public Affairs Director Cephas Arthur dismissed the report as false.
Supporters of the MP charged to the BNI headquarters amidst chants of war songs.
At the time of filing this report, some angry supporters had blocked a section of the Ring Road near the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) where they were burning tyres in the middle of the road blocking the flow of traffic.
Sources said other NPP activists, including deputy communications director Yaw Buaben Asamoa, were also arrested on the instructions of Naa Yakubu.
Mr Agyapong was invited by the police yesterday to be interrogated about remarks he allegedly made on air last Friday in which he deplored the violence that had characterized the ongoing biometric registration exercise, especially in the Odododiodioo constituency, where Presidential aide Nii Lantey Vanderpuye is contesting as MP and had been leading attacks on non-Gas.
Ken was said to have charged Ghanaians to resist oppressors' rule as being exhibited by the Mills administration.
His reaction was prompted by what he said was the beating of gong-gong in NDC National chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei's hometown, Nkonya, that all minors should go and be registered.
The MP arrived at the CID headquarters at about 11am to honour the invitation extended to him in the company of one of his lawyers, Samuel Atta Akyea, MP for Abuakwa South, and Kwabena Agyepong, a party member.
Other party leaders like Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, National Chairman, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, General Secretary and a host of others later joined.
They went to the conference room of the CID headquarters on the second floor of the building to be interrogated by a team of detectives regarding the remarks he allegedly made on Oman FM on Friday.
After close to five hours, his lawyers said he was made to submit a written statement since he was being investigated on alleged treason.
It is still not clear whether he has been charged.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, apart from the efforts to have the detained MP bailed, worked extra hard to calm the agitated party supporters who had assembled at the location from various constituencies in Accra.
The crowd spilled onto the streets in front of the Police Headquarters, prompting passengers in passing vehicles to gossip about the unfolding political developments in the country.
They sang war songs and only stopped briefly when Jake appealed for calm, resuming the noise after a while.
Observers of the flurry of activities at the location noted how when it was clear that the gentleman was about to be released on bail, an order or so came from somewhere to stop the process.
Order From Above
Mr Atta-Akyea explained that his client meant no harm in declaring war over fallouts in the ongoing biometric registration exercise.
He told Joy FM that his client was only 'metaphorical' with his words and had no bad intentions.
He was angered by what he claimed to be police inaction against people he said were fomenting trouble at the various registration centres.
Atta Akyea is convinced the comments by his client could not by any stretch of the imagination be deemed to be treasonable.
Quoting copiously from the Constitution, counsel said, 'No amount of words will amount to treason' unless there was evidence he had concrete plans to execute his words.
He said Agyapong's comments were just 'verbal expressions' and no violent connotations must be put to them.
He said the comments were rather to admonish the police to be careful and deal with the violence characterizing the biometric registration process.
Describing what transpired at the Police Headquarters, the Abuakwa South MP said his client was asked to produce the recording of the comments he made on Oman FM .
He said the Assin North MP willingly volunteered and gave the recording to the police.
The lawyer said his client was 'cautioned and admitted to bail.'
MP for Adansi, Kobina Tahir Hammond, was prepared to stand surety for Mr Agyepong.
But it appeared those pulling the strings behind the scenes were more powerful with their influence to get the man behind bars since the police were no more ready and willing to admit him to bail.
By Charles Takyi-Buadu