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05.12.2007 General News

Navy, Cops Trade Words

By Daily Guide

THE Operations Officer of the Western Naval Command, Navy Captain George Kofi Anim has told DAILY GUIDE that his outfit did not officially move any troops to the Sekondi Police Station last Saturday to attack the police in an attempt to release two naval ratings who were arrested in a swoop.

The Naval Captain stressed that investigations conducted by his outfit revealed that those who went to the Sekondi Police Station were not navy personnel, but he suspected that they were from Asumansido in Sekondi, where most of the suspected drug-peddlers were arrested during the swoop.

He said the naval ratings who were arrested were off-duty that Saturday, 1st December 2007 and that after the first naval officer was not allowed to bail the suspects, the Command Duty Officer, Sub-Lt. Dennison also went there on the same mission.

Captain Anim said the mob hooted and smashed the windscreen of Sub-Lt. Dennison's car, which pointed to the fact that those who attacked the policemen were not naval ratings.

“Naval ratings will never smash the car of their superior officer. They will rather run away when they see him, because of their guilt. Our system is a disciplined one.

“Chief Petty Officer Abu Abubakari, who was locked up by the police, was just passing through the place,” Navy Captain Anim said, adding that the police report said the people who attacked them were in civilian clothes.

He intimated that the Navy would never shield any naval personnel who, during private hours, indulged in drug-peddling or any other social vice, stressing that the law would deal with the two naval ratings because they were there as private individuals during the arrest.

He said the two naval ratings that were caught in the police swoop had however been taken from the Sekondi Police Station and detained at the naval guardroom pending further investigations.

When Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Azu, Acting Western Regional Commander of Police was contacted, he stood his ground, saying that the naval ratings were indeed those who attacked the police personnel at the Sekondi Police Station last Saturday.

“We are not saying the Navy moved troops to the police station, but their remarkable T-shirts and shorts for training revealed their identity alright. We are also security personnel, so the Navy should do their investigations well,” he said.

ACP Azu, who did not blame the Western Naval Command in any way for the action, added that since the ratings were the lowest rank in the Navy, they might have taken their action on the blind side of the institution.

It would be recalled that DAILY GUIDE reported in its Monday edition that 15 naval ratings from the Sekondi Naval Base last Saturday evening attacked personnel of the Sekondi Police Station in an attempt to release two naval personnel arrested among other suspects during a police swoop.

In all, 15 persons suspected to be drug-peddlers or engaging in illegal businesses were arrested in parts of Sekondi during the swoop and some dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp were found on some of the suspects.

A Sub-Lieutenant from the Sekondi Naval Base called at Sekondi Police Station minutes after the arrest and requested for the release of the two naval personnel who were among those in police cells, but the police on duty declined his request.

A few minutes after the Sub-Lieutenant had left, 15 naval ratings then stormed the Sekondi Police Station and demanded that their two colleagues be released, but those on duty again declined to do so.

The naval ratings then attacked police personnel on duty at the station and used stones to smash the padlocks to the cells in a desperate attempt to release their two colleagues.

Hell then broke loose and in the process, three policemen were assaulted. An alarm was raised and more policemen came to the scene, but the naval ratings took to their heels.

From Sam Mark Essien, Takoradi

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