From John Bediako, Asutuare Junction
A group of soldiers believed to have come from the One Garrison of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) took the law into their own hands by invading a police security checkpoint at Asutuare Junction and freed a colleague who had been arrested and detained.
Investigations revealed that the rampaging soldiers also disarmed one of the policemen on duty and removed the magazine from his gun.
Still not satisfied, the soldiers also pounced on the Commander at the barrier and severely pummeled him. The officer fell into unconscious and was later resuscitated at a nearby Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound.
The Chronicle’s on the spot investigation revealed that at about 11pm on Sunday, April 15, 2018, a driver of a bus from the north, with registration number GT 4533-15, stopped at the police security checkpoint at Asutsuare Junction on the Tema-Akosombo highway, and reported the recklessness of the driver of a saloon car, which had grazed his bus.
Whilst making the report, the said saloon car, a Toyota Corolla, also pulled up at the checkpoint and was identified by the complainant driver.
The police then asked the driver of the saloon car, who was suspected to be drunk, to produce his license.
The driver, who, unknown to the policemen was a military officer, was livid about the orders of the police and attempted to drive away.
One of the policemen is alleged to have restrained him. The military officer, who was in mufti and has now been identified as Captain Dominic Nakpadza, slapped the police officer for impeding his movement. The police officer reportedly responded by slapping the military man as well.
Passengers onboard the Vision Express inscribed bus, whose driver had reported the soldier, assisted the police at the barrier to overpower the military officer, handcuffed and placed him in lawful custody, pending further action.
A lady who was in the car with the soldier was seen making a call, and within a short time, five persons, including a uniformed armed soldier, arrived at the checkpoint and manhandled the duty police commander, Inspector Addo, who was hit on the head with the butt of a rifle, until he fell unconscious.
Another police officer, Inspector Helena Ofosuhene, also received multiple slaps from the soldiers, who later seized the AK47 assault rifle Cpl Kennedy Glover of the Tema Regional Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) was holding and removed the loaded magazine.
Inspector Addo was rushed to a nearby CHPS facility for resuscitation and treatment. After beating the police personnel at the barrier, the soldiers escorted Captain Dominic Nakpadza, who was still in handcuffs away.
Thirty minutes later, another squad of seven soldiers arrived, this time in a military ambulance, with registration number 46 GA 47, and commanded the police to use the handcuff keys to free the hand of the officer from captivity. They had succeeded in removing one hand from the cuffs.
After realising that Inspector Addo, who possessed the key was on admission, the soldiers, yet again, invaded the health facility and even though he was groaning in excruciating pain from a head injury, they demanded he got up to free the hand of Captain Nakpadza.
By this time, information got to the police headquarters, from where a directive was issued to Tema to proceed to the scene and restore law and order at the security checkpoint.
The reinforcement from Tema got there in no time, and for the professional intervention of the Tema Regional Crime Officer, a nasty story would have been told.
After calling for restraint among his men, the crime officer directed that details of the soldiers present should be taken, the captain’s last hand in the cuff be freed and he released to the identified soldiers, pending further action. The seized loaded magazine was returned to the police.
The Tema Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr J.B Darkwa, when contacted, confirmed the incident, but stated that the command was yet to receive an official report on the matter.
The Director of Public Relations (DPR) of the Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel Eric Aggrey Quashie, on his part, said his outfit would update The Chronicle upon receipt of a corresponding situational report.