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14.10.2002 General News

Student beaten to death by Police

By Chronicle
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Sankore (Brong Ahafo Region) - The Chronicle has gathered that some police personnel at Sankore, in the Brong Ahafo Region, have tortured a 21-year old Senior Secondary School graduate, Sumaila Azumah, to death and sexually abused his brother’s wife who is five months old pregnant.

This incident came in the wake of increased media reports about the conduct of some police officers, which had resulted in the death of civilians in the country.

Azumah who visited his brother after he graduated from SSS met his untimely death when the police subjected him to severe beatings with wood boards and other missiles at the police custody whiles Zenabu Abugre, the pregnant woman, was also abused sexually.

Chronicle learnt that Sumaila fell ill in the cell as a result of the brutality he was subjected to. He was rushed to the Hwidiem hospital also in the Brong Ahafo Region but was pronounced dead on the same day, 30 August, this year. The body is still in the hospital mortuary.

The brother of the deceased, Salaam Azumah, told the paper that after the death of his brother, he reported the case to the police at Sankore. He said the station officer and the inspector threatened to send them to court to get them imprisoned if they dared expose them as the cause of his brother’s death.

Sumaila was said to have been challenging the police for sexually abusing his brother’s wife, saying it was a taboo. This confrontation did not go down well with the police who brutalised him any time he challenged them. The deceased, according to his brother, told the police: “If one of three people in police custody should die as a result of brutality and assault and one remains, unless they also kill the person, they, the police, would be in trouble because it is taboo.”

The inmates could not bear the sight of Madam Abugre who was chained to a table by the right hand and who used her left hand to eat for three days as she screamed and protested against the conduct of the police.

The police inspector, Odame, with his colleagues, Boateng and Manu, allegedly tore the lady’s panties anytime they wanted to have an affair with her.

Narrating the incident to the Chronicle, Madam Abugre said the police always covered her mouth with pieces of cloth to avoid her being heard screaming. A relative who bailed them from the police cells after four days told the paper that he could not contain the way his relatives were being subjected to inhuman treatment. He said food brought to them were even seized by the police making them go hungry for the whole four days and nights.

The aggrieved family therefore petitioned the IGP to institute an independent investigation into the matter and arrange to transfer the body of the deceased to the Police Hospital in Accra for post-mortem examination to be conducted. According to the petition, the doctor asked them to be buying drugs to preserve the body, otherwise the clots of blood would make the body go bad in no time.

The petition indicated that Madam Zenabu Abugre had a misunderstanding with a trader, Laadi Seidu, over some corn she (Seidu) bought from the former without paying. It generated a heated argument as they exchanged words and the latter together with her husband beat her up. The deceased joined the woman to fight. The case was however reported to the police and the three accused persons were arrested.

Chronicle can reveal that, the residents in the area always influence the police to maltreat the new residents in the area and subjected them to series of intimidation.

When the paper reached ASP David Eklu, Public Relations Officer at the Police Headquarters, he confirmed the story and said monitory and inspection teams have been directed to investigate the case and submit their report within two weeks.

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