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21.05.2007 Crime & Punishment

Student Arrested For Distributing Letters

The Legon Police have arrested a third-year Consumer Sciences student, Yusif Yakub, for allegedly distributing letters containing death threats to lecturers of the University of Ghana.

Yakub was picked up last Thursday at an examination hall after he had written his last paper of the second semester examinations.

A Legon Police source, which confirmed the story, said the matter was under further investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

It said last Thursday, May 17, 2007, a head of department at the university informed the police that he could identify the person who delivered the letter containing the death threat to his office.

The police, it explained, therefore, accompanied the head of department to the Faculty of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences where he identified the suspect writing his last paper in one of the examination halls.

“We waited for him to finish writing the examination before picking him up,” it explained.

The source said although the suspect was affiliated to Akuafo Hall, he slept at Commonwealth Hall, adding that the suspect denied distributing the letter containing the death threat when he was questioned.

“To be sure that the head of department was not making a mistake, we set up an identification parade during which a member of staff of the same department, who was present when the suspect delivered the letter, identified him (suspect) from a group of 10 people,” it said.

It said the suspect would be put before court once investigations were concluded.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Muslim Students Association (GMSA) has strongly condemned the arrest of Mr Yakub, a member of the association and level 300 student of the University of Ghana.

It described his arrest as unjustified and unlawful under the Constitution of Ghana.

In a press statement signed by the General Secretary of the association, Mr Swallah Abdul-Razak, and issued in Accra, it expressed worry about the extent to which the university authorities had gone in pursuit of individuals allegedly involved in the issuance of those threat letters.

The statement recalled Yakubu's contribution towards arrangements for the construction of a mosque at the Akuafo Hall, his hall of residence.

While the statement recognised the role the police played in the context of maintaining law and order, it equally condemned instances when they abused their authority.

It indicated that if the police thought they had a case against Mr Yakub, then they should follow the stipulations of the law and ensure that his human rights were not abused.

Some faceless students of the University of Ghana, before the commencement of the semester examinations, allegedly issued death threats to lecturers if they went ahead with the examination and this was as a result of students' disagreement with the In-Out-Out-Out residential policy introduced by the university authorities.

They accused the lecturers of being silent over the matter and that they were allies of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof C. N. B. Tagoe.

The authorities then informed the police, who beefed up their presence at the university to ensure law and order on the campus.

Story By Emmanuel Bonney