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05.12.2007 General News

Police, soldiers brawl

A large crowd of civilians looked on in awe when bout 30 Naval officers engaged an equal number of police officers in a brutal street brawl at the Sekondi Police Station last Saturday night.

The free-for-all fight followed an attempt by the Naval officers to forcibly free two of their colleagues who had been arrested during a swoop on a hideout in Sekondi believed to be a den of drug peddlers and violent criminals.

In the end, the police triumphed and succeeded in keeping the attacking Navy men at bay. They arrested one of the Navy men, identified as Chief Petty Officer Abu Abubakari, and locked him up with the two suspects at the same police station.

Police sources said the two Navy men were among a group of suspected criminals who were engaged in the smoking of 'wee' when the police mounted the exercise. The police rounded them up and placed them in cells.

The source said when news of the arrest got to the colleagues of the two at the Naval Base, they invaded the police station, assaulted t he policewoman on duty and attempted to open the cell gate by smashing the locks with stones and metals.

Further investigations by the Daily Graphic revealed that the rampaging Naval officers were led by one Sub-Lt. Teye Dzadza while the two suspects were identified as Philip Berko Okyere and Emmanuel Nyanyo, both able Seamen stationed in Sekondi.

The officer is said to have made an initial visit to the station to seek the release of the colleagues but when it was explained to him that they were in lawful custody, he left only to return with more soldiers to apply force.

With the reinforcement, the soldiers were said to have pounced on the station officer, beat her up before moving to the cell gate to attempt breaking the locks. At that point the duty officer was said to have blown her whistle to alert other officers about the imminent cell break. The alarm alerted her colleagues who responded immediately.

Upon the arrival of more policemen, a serious fight ensued, resulting in injuries to both sides. A policeman who suffered a twisted and broken wrist was said to have suffered the most injury.

The police however foiled the attempt to break the cell and arrested one of the Naval officers.

After being rebuffed, the soldiers left the police station, which had been reduced to a debris of stones and objects.

Sub-Lt Dzadza is said to be in custody for questioning while the Regional Coordinating Council is making efforts to resolve the differences.