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19.10.2008 Crime & Punishment

Two policemen face bribery charges

By The Chronicle on Saturday
Two policemen face bribery charges

A 30-year-old vocalist is accusing two police officers of demanding bribes from him as condition to investigate how his property got burnt.

In his bid to get the police to investigate how his personal properties in his single room apartment in Takoradi got burnt to ashes, Mr. David Assilidgoe said he received the shock of his life, when two police officers, under the Effia-Kwesimintsim District Command of the Ghana Police Service (GPS), allegedly demanded money from him.

According to Assilidgoe, the police failed to conduct their constitutionally mandated duty, following his inability to provide the sum of money being demanded, even though he had furnished them with the name and whereabouts of the suspect he believed was behind the arson.

Narrating his ordeal to the Chronicle on Saturday, the complainant noted that his personal belongings were burnt in broad daylight and after lodging a complaint at the Agona-Nkwanta and Kwesimintsim police stations, the two police officers, who were detailed to conduct investigations into the arson case that cost the loss of his properties worth GH¢700, demanded to be paid some amount of money before any investigations into the incident would commence.

The complainant mentioned one of the officers as Inspector William Abotse, of the Kwesimintsim Police Station.

According to Mr. Assilidgoe, Inspector William Abotse demanded a sum of GH¢10 to fuel his vehicle, to enable him get to the site of the incident to commence investigations.

The complainant, who walked into the offices of the Chronicle on Saturday, narrated that he offered Inspector Abotse GH¢5 instead of the GH¢10.00 he demanded, but the latter declined on the grounds that the amount offered was too small, and to date had consequently abandoned investigations into his case.

Inspector Abotse denied, when reached on phone, that he demanded the said amount from the complainant.

According to the officer, he only requested that the complainant provide transport to the scene of the incident, since there was no police vehicle available then, stressing that he never asked the complainant to give him the said amount.

Officer Abotse expressed surprise and shock that the complainant had gone to the press, noting, "the docket of the case is still with me, and I was expecting the complainant to turn up the next day, but to date he has not turned up."

Nonetheless, complainant Assilidgoe further told the Chronicle that the officer demanded the said amount of money from him in the presence of two of his friends, who were ready to give evidence and expose the officer at anytime.

"The police officer has frustrated my efforts to get my case investigated, because of the money demanded by them, and the suspect I know is walking a free man," the complainant asserted.

The complainant held that his experience with the Kwesimintsim police officer came on the heels of a similar one experienced with another police officer at the Agona-Nkwanta Police Station, who had earlier refused to investigate his case, for failing to pay him an amount of GH¢20.

Mr. Assilidgoe could not mention the name of this officer, but maintained that he could identify him.

The complainant further noted that when he initially reported the incident, and mentioned the one he suspected to have caused the arson, the Chief Police Officer at Agona-Nkwanta intimated that he also knew the suspect, but demanded a deposit, in the sum of GH¢ 20, before the suspect would be arrested.

Unable to immediately provide the money being demanded, he then rushed down to the Kwesimintsim Police Station, only to meet the same scenario, the complainant asserted.

The Regional Public Relations Officer of the Police Command on the subject, Inspector Olivia Adiku, asked the complainant to lodge an official complaint at either the District Command or the Regional Command for the next line of action to be taken.

She expressed surprise that a police officer would demand money from a f complainant before commencing an investigation, stressing that such acts were unprofessional.