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13.05.2004 General News

Policemen On Rampage

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"They Were Drunk; Beat Me Up And Took My ¢316,000. Efforts by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Nana Owusu Nsiah, to stem up unprofessional behaviour of police officers may not be making the right impact as police brutalities on civilians seem to be on the increase.

Fiakuna Savior, a taxi driver of car registration number GR 4398 Q, and a resident of Teshie, a suburb of Accra was allegedly severely assaulted by the five policemen who were said to be drunk in the evening of Wednesday 5th May 2004.

Narrating his ordeal, black-eyed Saviour said on his way that Wednesday from Teshie to Nungua, a suburb of Accra, at about 6pm, two passengers decided to alight in front of the Kpeshie Divisional police station in Nungua, a suburb of Accra.

According to Saviour, he branched off the road and stopped in front of a drinking bar called ZENOV's sport for the passengers to alight. He said as the passengers were alighting, five men emerged from the drinking bar, engrossed in laughter and conversation, and stopped right in front of his taxi.

Saviour said the men were so engrossed in their chatting that they did not see the indication that he Saviour wanted to get back onto the road. I therefore tooted my horn for them to make way for me, eh said. He maintained that as he was moving away, he head a loud bang on the boot of his car, apparently by one of the men. He subsequently parked off again. He demanded to know what occasioned them to bang on the car. One of them retorted: “Wo ye hwana? Kwasea, firi ho!”. Literally means, “Who are you? Go away you fool”

The taxi driver said before he could utter the next work, one of the men went behind him and delivered a hefty slap to his right eye. This was followed by a harbour hook a grab at his trousers at the waist from behind while the rest reduced him to punching bag. He said with the harbour hook he was dragged across the street to the police station in the charge office and to the back of the counter where the slapping continued, subsequently he was thrown into cell.

At about 10pm said Saviour, one Cpl Acheampong decided to release him on self recognizance bail because blood was oozing from his nose and eyes. Frightened and convinced that his assailants could return and subject him to further ordeal, Saviour said his demand to know why he was thrown into cell was not persistent; he readily appended his signatures to some papers with inscriptions that did not bother to read.

He however denied Cpl Acheampong's assertion that he was being held for dangerous driving. And to his utter surprise, his sales for the day, totaling ¢320m000 which he had left in the compartment had been reduced to ¢4,000. The front tyres of the car were also deflated. Saviour said he realized that the five men were police officers and two of them were called Cpl Dzakpa and Cpl Wilson. A medical report from the hospital said his left eye was normal but the right one was suffering from subconjunctiva hemorrhage.

A visit to the police headquarters revealed that the matter was before the police monitoring and inspection unit and was being investigated by St. Kontomah.

According to him, the police officers involved in the alleged assault case were to meet him in his office together with the taxi driver at 10am on Tuesday May 11. But as at 1pm, the alleged assault perpetrators had not turned up at the police headquarters for the meeting. As at Wednesday May 12 was still parked at the Kpeshie Divisional Police station, thereby depriving Saviour of his income.

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