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16.05.2007 General News

Show of power: Five soldiers in trouble

By myjoyonline

Five airmen of the Ghana Air Force in Takoradi have been arrested for invading a hostel for Takoradi Polytechnic students and assaulting some of the students.

In the process, they were said to have vandalised the students' hostel and taken away property worth millions of cedis, including mobile phones and cash.

Three of the students were rushed to the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital and one of them, whose name was given as Isaac Kojo Nhyira, a second-year Building and Construction student, was admitted.

After the action, the suspects just boarded an aircraft for their various stations but the Station Commander ordered them to disembark and effected their arrest at the Takoradi Air Force Station.

The Station Commander expressed shock at the behaviour of the soldiers when the Daily Graphic contacted him to confirm the story.

Narrating the incidents, the students said they were in their rooms at about 8.00 p.m. when three Air Force officers entered the hostel, screaming out the name of a student who was then studying on the main campus.

They said when one of their colleagues came out of the room and told the soldiers to minimise the noise because the students were studying, an argument ensued, during which the soldiers became offended and engaged him in a scuffle and left.

They said at about 11:30 p.m. the soldiers returned to the hostel, this time numbering about eight and in uniform. Wielding machetes and clubs, they broke into the rooms and vandalised everything in sight and beat up the students.

According to the students, the soldiers made away with all mobile phones which were then being charged and an unspecified amount of money belonging to the students.

After the invasion, the students abandoned the hostel and sought refuge elsewhere.

When the Daily Graphic got to the hostel, most of the doors had been destroyed and boxes and beds turned upside down.

At the hospital, the doctor in charge, Dr Jonathan Mensah, said Mr Nhyira had been brought there in critical condition, with his clothes soaked in blood. He said however, that Nhyira was responding to treatment.

Later, the Takoradi Air Force Station Commander, Group Captain Michael Samson-Oje, moved to the hostel to access the extent of damage.

The commander later interacted with the students and assured them not to feel intimidated by what had happened.

"The military is not your enemy; we are there to protect you, not to cause you harm," he said.

He also visited the hospital to console the victim but when he got there Mr Nhyira had been referred to the GPHA Hospital for a dental check up.

Culled from Daily Graphic