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19.12.2002 General News

Duty cop found dead drunk

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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AT A TIME when no less a person than Vice President Aliu Mahama is crusading against indiscipline, a policeman who is supposed to enforce the law, has been found to have compromised his position.

Constable John Abdul Razak Lieku of the Panthers Unit of the Ghana Police Service, now stationed at Nuaso, near Kpong in the Eastern Region; the culprit has been charged with an indictable offence and may soon face the music.

He would be appearing before a committee to explain the whereabouts of his official beret with its crown, some rounds of ammunition and also defend his acts of general misconduct to convince a panel why he should still remain in the noble profession.

The charges, which may include drinking alcohol on duty, unprofessional behaviour, insubordination and putting the service in disrepute, come with such alarming evidence that the poor cop, as seen by this reporter, is unsure of his fate.

Information reaching the Chronicle which has been confirmed at the Nuaso Police station, indicates that on December 12, 2002, Constable Class One Lieku, popularly called Razak, was detailed to guard the residence of the Yilo Krobo District Chief Executive but refused and instead went on a "boozing spree".

By 2.00 am, Razak was found "dead drunk" and lying by the road side at Manya Kpongunor, 10 kilometres away from his duty post, with his rifle, beret and Yamaha Grandtour motorcycle with registration number GA 5485 B lying two metres away.

For two long hours the sharpshooter, unconscious of his state and whereabouts, was surrounded by several youngmen in the area, who first took him for dead. But by 4:00 am, the officer in uniform with the number H32665 on his right breast, probably awakened by the cool morning dew but virtually drenched with alcohol, took his rifle and bike and headed to his station, leaving behind the pride and symbol of authority - the beret.

Further investigations at his station revealed that the cop signed for four rounds of ammunition but returned with only two. The source continued that the weapon and a third bullet cocked in the rifle chamber and likely to fire at the slightest touch, were dropped without the returning booking-in as is the usual case.

A near quarrel ensued when Leiku was asked to explain why he looked dirty in those wee hours of the morning by his superiors. When Chronicle contacted Razak for comments, he admitted losing one out of his pair of sandals that night but not his beret. He also denied ever being drunk that night.

However the head of the Nuaso Police Station, Inspector S.P. Sampong, confirmed the story and hinted that he was informed the officer fired two shots in his friend's girlfriend's house, and finds it shocking that the youngman is denying the charges.

On his part, the Akuse district police commander, Superintendent Nat Acquah, said a report had reached him on the issues raised and promised to look into the matter. The found beret had also been handed over to the district commander. Meanwhile a police officer at Akuse whispered to the Chronicle that for the three years that Razak had been at Nuaso, several of such reports had reached the authorities at the district level but had not been acted upon and wonders whether this incident would make any difference.

Observers at the December 12 eyesore exclaimed whether this behaviour from some cops the Vice President's war against indiscipline can be won in the next foreseeable future.

Others believe the police will clear the bad nuts from the system and save their good name.

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