Jomoro Residents Demand Justice
A female resident who also sustained injury at her back after she was also beaten
The residents of Half-Assini and Ekpu, both fishing communities in the Jomoro District of the Western Region, have vehemently condemned the alleged brutality meted out to them by personnel of the Ghana Police Service who stormed the two communities to arrest some suspects recently.
According to the people, the two communities became 'ghost towns' immediate after the purported police brutality, as the residents ran for their dear lives.
They have, therefore, called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Interior Minister to, as a matter of urgency, sanction officers who embarked on what they described as the barbaric attack on the people of Ekpu and Half-Assini.
“Until justice is done us, we would not relent in our efforts to ensure that the culprits of these barbaric acts are brought to book,” they indicated.
Over 200 police personnel, led by the Western Regional Police Command, DCOP Kwesi Duku stormed Ekpu, near Half Assini in the Western Region in the morning of Tuesday, April, 11, 2017 to harass and beat up residents.
The raid, according to sources, could be linked to an earlier attack on a police station in the area by the youth following the death of a resident, Assuah Buah in police custody.
The angry youth vandalized the police station and attacked the officer who was on duty at the time.
The police headquarters, in conjunction with the Western Regional Police Command, deployed eight officers and 284 other ranks to conduct a swoop at Ekpu in an effort to arrest the suspects. 50 residents were arrested in the process.
According to the residents, the police officers, who wielding batons, indiscriminately beat residents in the town, throwing the entire fishing communities into chaos.
Mark Asmah Arthru, Secretary to the Jomoro Youth Association, noted that even physically challenged in the communities were not spared by the police who used brute force.
“The police officers who came from Accra and Sekondi also arrested students who were writing their WASSCE exams and their teachers,” he asserted.
He alleged that the police acted unlawfully by failing to grant bail to the deceased who was in their custody after numerous attempts by the family members and some opinion leaders in the area.
“The concocted story being peddled around that the deceased was beaten to death by fellow inmates is not only fallacious but gross insult of our intelligence,” he added.
Paul Essien, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Jomoro, who is also the Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, in an interview with the police, expressed surprise at the action of the police.
According to him, he had already booked an appointment to meet the IGP and the Interior Minister to find a lasting solution to the problem.
16 In Court
Meanwhile, after screening the 50 suspects, 16 suspects were hauled before court by the police.
They pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of GH₡2,000 each with three sureties to be justified. They are to reappear on May, 17, 2017.
Counsel for the suspects Lucy Blay disclosed that she would pursue the case to the latter.
She mentioned that some of the residents were injured by the police during the operation.
She also indicated that one Leonard Blay Morkeh, a physically challenged, who was assaulted, was receiving treatment at the Half Assini Government Hospital.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Half-Assini