A 35-year-old man, Stephen Tetteh has been arrested by Police at Asesewa in the Eastern Region for attempting to halt the ongoing National Identification Authority Ghana Card registration exercise at Obeyemi, a farming community near Oterkpolu in the Yilo Krobo District.
The suspect according to the police stormed the registration centre with a single barrel gun and ordered the NIA officials to stop the exercise amidst firing several rounds in the air.
A police patrol team which was dispatched to the centre managed to apprehend him and retrieved the gun and two empty shells.
The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ebenezer Tetteh confirming the incident to Citi News indicated that the suspect will be charged with causing fear and panic, unlawful entry, possession and discharge of firearms without lawful authority.
“While the officers were preparing to set up for the registration exercise, he started firing gunshots from a single barrel gun and ordered the officers to stop the exercise. When the police received the information, they quickly moved in and the suspect was apprehended. He is in police custody and is being processed and prepared for court. The charges against him are being on premises without lawful authority, possession of firearms without lawful excuse and other charges. So he’ll be appearing in court. We hope to have him remanded to continue with the investigations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Police in the Region have also apprehended a 37-year-old man who is a staff of the NIA for allegedly registering some residents at Adarkwa in their homes.
The suspect who is a supervising registration officer at Kuano Church registration centre was arrested Thursday evening with some documents of the National Identification Authority in his possession.
DSP Ebenezer Tetteh said, “He was arrested with some documents from the National Identification Authority. Among the documents were 27 pieces of National ID card application forms with one bearing the name and particulars of one Otubuah Rebecca and 12 pieces of old identity forms with four pieces bearing the names of Opoku Mabel and four others whose names were only given as Ebenezer, Lomotey, Christina and Korkor and an instruction manner for registration card issuance.”
“The suspect upon interrogation claimed that the above persons were at their registration centre earlier in the day to register but they couldn't register due to time of closure and as such sought to register them in their respective homes for other procedures to follow the next day. The suspect has since been detained for questioning and the documents have been retained by the Police.”
Ongoing registration despite ban
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo imposed a ban on public gatherings.
He instructed that all activities in schools, churches, mosques, and other institutions that encourage large crowds be suspended. He also encouraged social distancing among the public in order to prevent spreading the virus.
He excluded businesses and other workplaces, saying they can continue to operate but should observe prescribed social distancing between patrons and staff.
Even though the exercise encourages overcrowding and raises the risk of the spread of the disease, the NIA has not halted the ongoing Ghana registration exercise in the Eastern Region saying that it has not violated the directives of the President.
This has brought the Authority under intense criticism from the public.