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14.04.2004 General News

DCE Orders police to free suspects

By Chronicle
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The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Kintampo, Mr. James Kwabena Bomfeh, has been accused of stopping the police from arresting four suspects who were alleged to have poured industrial acid on two people, Robert Num and Rashid Donkor, both from Kintampo.

The alleged perpetrators, Bawa Peace, said to be a close friend of the DCE, Frank Okrah, the DCE's nephew and two others, whose names were not given, encountered their victims in a forest on March 15 this year and poured acid on Num, resulting in severe burns on his chin, neck and chest. Donkor, who went to the aid of Num, also suffered some burns.

When the case was reported to the police, according to the elder brother of Num, Mr. Emmanuel Num who is the Deputy Coordinating Director of the Techiman Municipal Assembly, Mr. Bomfeh directed that the suspects should not be detained but be made to write their statements and granted bail.

Following the directive, the police failed to arrest them, until Mr. Emmanuel Num reported the incident to the Divisional Police Commander at Wenchi.

It was alleged that after the incident, the prime Suspect, Bawa Peace went round bragging that the Kintampo police could not arrest him because he had “bought” them.

This was given credence when the detective handling the case, was seen moving around town in the private car of Bawa, ostensibly looking for the rest of the suspects.

In his complaint to the Divisional Police Commander, Mr. Emmanuel Num expressed surprise that one week after the incident had been reported to the Kintampo police, no arrest had been made though Bawa was in town.

Mr. Num who also copied his complaint to the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander, the BNI Director and the Chief State Attorney, said five days after his brother had made a report to the police, one of the suspects turned round to report that Robert had threatened his life.

He added that the police did not hesitate to pursue Robert even to the hospital where he had gone for treatment, to arrest him.

Meanwhile the Techiman police arrested Okrah, the nephew of the DCE at his hideout in Techiman and handed him over to the Kintampo police.

Mr. Emmanuel Num who expressed dissatisfaction about the way the police in Kintampo were handling the case, said moving round in the suspect's private car by the investigator could compromise the investigations.

He stated that it was unlikely that the investigator would have the moral courage to make a strong case against the suspects.

Mr. Num said the DCE gave instructions to the police not to detain the suspects because Bawa was his close friend and Okrah was his nephew.

When contacted, the Investigator, Sgt. Michael said he had arrested the suspects contrary to the complainant's claim and that the case delayed because the complainant was not co-operative in producing his witnesses.

The DCE also denied directing the police not to arrest the suspects.

He said as a democrat and believer in the rule of law he would not interfere in the duties of the police.

He threatened that he would institute legal action against whoever associated him with the case.

Last October The Chronicle carried a story headlined: “DCE cited in Knife Drawing Incident' in which Bawa Peace allegedly stabbed one Atta.

Robert Num was a principal witness in that case and it is believed the pouring of acid on him had something to do with that case.

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