FOR being 'loud-mouthed' and exposing alleged underhand dealings within the police service, including drug-related crimes, a detective inspector of the La Police, together with his family, was allegedly abducted by colleagues and brutally pummelled to pulp.
An attack that could ordinarily qualify for attempted murder. This compelled the terrified whistleblower to keep mute for two years, only breaking his silence now.
Detective Inspector Peter Annobil and his family were allegedly assaulted by his colleagues in the police service happened on two separate occasions: .May 7, 2004 and December 22, 2004. He suffered “lacerations on the lower lip and chin, a loss of a tooth, dislocation of the lower jaw, swollen knee,” among others, as per medical reports in the possession of The Statesman.
Fired, perhaps, by the new cleansing wave in the service, he is now set on a determined crusade to bring his tormentors to justice.
Following a number of publications by The Statesman on corrupt dealings at the La Police station, the victim, Mr Annobil started to open up to The Statesman about his ordeal.
Information gathered by The Statesman indicated that Mr Annobil on July 10, 2006 sent a letter to the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department seeking permission for a legal redress on the issue. The letter also requested for an official police report on his plight.
He had earlier on in a letter dated June 28, 2006 sought permission from the IGP to seek audience with the Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “I wish to state that I have suffered gross abuse of human rights,” Mr Annobil wrote, “including abductions, tortures, detentions, assassination attempts (with a pistol and AK47 rifle), 2½ year interdiction, kangaroo trials, unjustified reduction in rank, vandalising of my living police quarters and looting of my valuables from the hands of a group of serving policemen…” Narrating his ordeal to The Statesman, Mr Annobil recalled that in November 2002, he had arrested two suspects with quantities of cocaine and Indian hemp at La, in an operation which saw his informant and an ex-soldier taking active part.
Over a year later, the informant, worried over the inaction of the police on the matter, petitioned the then IGP for enquiry into the case. It was at that moment that it was officially detected that the drugs had gone missing from the police exhibits store at La.
Angered by accusations leveled against him by the informant, Mr Annobil said he had personally petitioned the IGP and the Director of CID over the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the drugs from police custody. That patriotic action on his part angered some of his superiors and other colleagues at the station.
“Hell broke lose and the hostilities began when the informant caused the story to be published in the Free Press. I was accused of divulging office secrets to the press… Since then I and my family have known no peace,” he lamented to The Statesman.
Mr Annobil in his letter to the IGP alleged that one Sergeant Justice Agbonuglah of the Greater Accra Regional Police Headquarters, who was formerly staying at the La Police barracks, organised 13 armed policemen from the Regional Police Headquarters in Accra who brutalised him and his two children, Prince and Mensah. Mr Annobil's room at the Police barracks at La was also vandalised and properties worth millions of cedis went missing or were destroyed, he told The Statesman.
Mr Annonil's other 'crime' was that he had accused a fellow detective of aiding the escape of two Fulani suspects from police cells. He was also accused of divulging police information to the general public.
In his letter to the IGP Mr Annobil stated: “Sgt Agbonuglah and his group also chained me together with my two sons with two pairs of handcuffs, beat us with the butts of AK47 rifles, long batons, and other offensive weapons, rendered us naked and forced my children to drink their own urine.”
The cop indicated that he and his two sons were saved by the timely intervention of the Regional Commander, ACP Douglas Akrofi Asiedu ,who ordered for their release and gave him an amount of ¢300,000 to offset part of their medical expenses.
However, when The Statesman phoned the Regional Police Commander Tuesday to confirm the story and the role he played in saving the situation, he dared The Statesman to publish the story, saying he would cause the dismissal of the victim should the paper go ahead with the story.
“My friend, this is an internal affair of the police service. Why are you so much interested in writing about the police when there are so many other things to write about?” he yelled. “I know you did not get the story in the air… it was him who brought it to you… and if you dare publish this story, I'll cause his dismissal”.
When asked whether it was wrong to report about the police Mr Akrofi Asiedu indicated that although the police are not above the law, internal issues of the police should be left for the service to handle.
When pressed further, Mr Akrofi Asiedu stated: “I'm sorry you are not sitting in front of me here… we have tried our best to bring the situation under control and solve this problem amicably but I don't know why this man keeps on writing letters and running to the press. If you publish the story, I would institute a disciplinary action against him and personally see to his dismissal…” And the line went dead.
Meanwhile, officials at the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau at the Police Headquarters in Accra have confirmed that the aggrieved victim has fired a series of letters and petitions to the IGP's outfit for action. They were however tight-lipped regarding action taken on the matter, saying they were waiting for recommendations from the IGP's office.