Gladys Asmah, Where are you? PIC: Stiff necked Mavis at 37 hospital; Insert: Mavis Unconscious at 37 Hospita A twenty-three year old mother of one, Mavis De-Graft Turkson, is undergoing treatment as a result of the brutal beating she was subjected to by the Police bodyguard of the Minister of Interior, Hon. Hackman Owusu Agyemang, last Wednesday evening.
Miss De-Graft Turkson, who is a cook in the Interior Minister's residence, was accused of stealing a ring belonging to a member of the Interior Minister's household. An accusation she flatly denied.
On the basis of that accusation the Minister's bodyguard subjected the poor girl to such severe beatings while ordering her to admit that she stole the ring.
After the horrendous ordeal the poor girl was driven to the Airport Police Station and detained. Police sources at the Madina Police station where she spent the night in cells (because the Airport Police do not have a separate cell for women) told The Lens that when Mavis was brought there her condition was such that the officers on duty at the time initially refused to accept her into their custody.
But when they were told that the complainant in the case is the Minister of Interior they reluctantly accepted her to avoid the risk of incurring the displeasure of the Minister.
However, when Mavis was brought before the District Officer at the Airport Police Station the next day, the Officer became concerned about her condition and instructed that she should be released on Police enquiry bail so that she could go home and get treatment.
The Minister of Interior came to the Police Station in the evening of the day Mavis was released on bail and when he was told that she had been released, the Interior Minister became very angry with the Police and accused them of showing disrespect to him by not consulting him before releasing the poor girl.
Speaking to The Lens on her hospital bed at the 37 Military hospital, where she is on admission, Ms. De-Graft Turkson said, "when I was accused of stealing the ring, the Minister's Police bodyguard took me on the Minister's vehicle driven by one Acheampong to my house at New Legon that Wednesday evening, where a search was conducted but nothing incriminating was found. While we were at my house my parents asked them if there was any problem, but the Police bodyguard told them that there was no problem. Another girl by name Adelaide was also with us."
"On our way back to the Minister's residence, the bodyguard called the Minister and I overheard him telling the Minister that when they searched my house they did not find the ring; after that the bodyguard spoke in such a way that I was unable to hear even his side of the conversation. After speaking on the telephone, the bodyguard turned to me and started beating me up while ordering me to admit that I stole the ring," Mavis recounted.
She continued, "the bodyguard then told me that he could even kill me and nobody would lift a finger, so I should just admit that I am the one who stole the ring. My continued protestations of my innocence incensed the body guard and he was really merciless in his assault on me. After a while, he ordered the driver to drive to the Airport Police station, where he left me with the Police."
"I was later sent to the Madina Police station, where I spent the night. The next day I was released by the Police to go home and get treatment, but because of financial constraints I could not go to the hospital. On Saturday I reported at the Airport Police station, and while I was there the pain became unbearable and I lost consciousness. The next thing I realised was that I had been taken to the 37 Military hospital where I am currently receiving treatment," Mavis recalls of her ordeal.
Some persons (names withheld) who were in police custody at the Airport Police station at the time have told The Lens that in the night of Thursday 5th August 2004, Hon. Hackman Owusu Agyemang arrived at the charge office and those of them in the cells could clearly hear him blasting the police for not "consulting" him before the girl was released. "We heard him clearly saying that by releasing the girl without first consulting him, the Police did not show him respect," the sources said.
Meanwhile Mavis' father, Mr. Ika De-Graft Turkson, has expressed dismay at the fact that the Airport Police appear reluctant to issue a Police medical report form to his daughter. Speaking to The Lens, Mr. De-Graft Turkson said, "each time I ask for the form I'm told to go and come."
The Lens is in possession of a copy of a witness statement given to the Police by Adelaide, in which she confirmed to the Airport Police that the Police bodyguard of the Minister assaulted Mavis.
The Police service is tight-lipped over the matter. Meanwhile the call has gone out for the Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, Hon. Gladys Asmah, to see to it that justice is done in this case and all persons involved, no matter their status or wealth, brought to book.