Four cops detained in Togo
4/30/2012 6:06:24 PM -
Four policemen were on Saturday morning arrested in Zukpe, a border town in the Republic of Togo.
The policemen, who were riding in a police patrol pick-up van with the inscription 'Ho Dist' and registration number GP 2274, were arrested, disarmed and detained for about four hours by the Togolese police at the border.
The Ghanaian policemen were said to have been freed by the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Isaac Kodobisah.
Even though Mr Kodobisah has denied that he was anywhere near Togo, and that he was unaware of the arrest and release of the four policemen in Zukpe, information available to Daily Guide indicates that the MCE was indeed in Togo and facilitated the release of the policemen who were said to have gone to the French-speaking country to recruit people interested in taking part in the ongoing biometric registration at a fee.
The names of the policemen were unknown since they had no name tags. However, Daily Guide investigations indicated that one Tenu James and Lovemond were part of those arrested. Tenu was the driver of the police vehicle.
Isaac Kodobisah said on Accra-based Joy FM last Saturday that he went to monitor registration centres at Tokokoe, Ave, Nyive and Hordzo along the Ghana-Togo border. 'I have not been arrested; I have not intervened in any caseI have not personally intervened in the release of any Ghanaian Police in Togo.'
However, a police source in Zukpe, Togo Police Post, said the MCE, with the help of some elders of that community, for about three hours pleaded and facilitated the release of the Ghanaian policemen.
The source said the MCE and the head at the police post were in a closed door meeting for the entire three hours before the release of the policemen.
After he allegedly struck the deal, the MCE was seen by a crowd that had thronged the Zukpe Police Station sharing drinks and biscuits to the Togo police personnel.
The Volta Regional Police Command is tightlipped on the matter. The Regional Police Commander, DCOP Alex Bebie, confirmed the arrest but refused to give further details.
An eyewitness who narrated the incident said at about 9:30am, the Ghanaian Police vehicle entered Zukpe, through Hordzokofe in the Ghana side of the border, heading towards Nyete.
The screeching speed of the police vehicle attracted the attention of the Zukpe Police who immediately dispatched four armed police personnel on two motorbikes to chase the Ghanaian policemen.
Apparently, one of them had tried firing at the police vehicle but stopped due to the distance.
In a Hollywood style, the Zukpe Police with cocked guns raced after their Ghanaian counterparts and surrounded them.
They then disarmed and brought them back to the police station to detain them.
A police source at Zukpe who confirmed the arrest noted that they arrested the Ghanaian policemen for unlawful entry and breach of some international security protocols.
Another eyewitness, Kordzovi Alo, added that 30 minutes after the arrest, Mr Kodobisah, in his official vehicle with registration number, GN 2382-11, entered Togo and went to the Zukpe Police Station to negotiate the release of the men.
The MCE was in the company of his driver, Anane, and his bodyguard, whose name was given as Dzotefe.
The Togo Police source indicated that they had wanted to either transfer the Ghanaian policemen to Lome or wanted their boss to come down from Lome.
But after the closed door meeting with the MCE, with the assistance of some elders from Zukpe believed to have been sent by the Paramount Chief, Togbe Tei Deku, they were released.
Sources close to the NDC noted that the policemen were allegedly directed by the MCE to go and get Togolese in Zukpe and Nyete to come in their numbers and register and that the police presence at Hordzokofe, which shares a boundary with Zukpe, was not to arrest them but to protect them.
He added that the police presence in Hordzokofe had prevented a lot of the Togolese from coming to register for fear of being arrested.
A farmer in Zukpe, who gave his name as Akorli noted: '...that is what we have been doing; whenever it is election time or registration or any paper work, we and the Nyete people go to Hordzokofe to partake and they also come during our time.'
Akorli added that when the Ghanaians come to Togo, they are given rice and oil, but when they come to Ghana nothing is shared.
However, this year, prior to the biometric registration process, a gong gong was beaten in their community to encourage them to partake in the exercise.
They were promised cutlasses and weedicides in return.
He was quick to add that some NGOs came to inform them that when they came, they would be arrested and so most of them had been reluctant in coming, especially with two policemen stationed at the Hordzokofe registration centre.
Immediately after their release around 2:00pm, two of the policemen who were supposed to be at post at Hordzokofe were dropped at their duty post while the driver and the other policeman sped off to Ho.
About 30 minutes later, the MCE also returned from Zukpe and came to interact with the registration officials and the two policemen whose release he had earlier secured.