From Kwesi Alfred Adams, Takoradi
The Western Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service has arrested and also interdicted four police officers for allegedly stealing electrical gadgets from the Osagyefo Barge at Effasu-Mangyea in the Jomoro District, which they have been mandated to protect. Also arrested are five civilians who reportedly aided the policemen to steal the gadgets.
The Jomoro District Police Commander, DSP McCarthy Zenge, confirmed the arrest of the policemen in a telephone interview with The Chronicle.
He gave some of the names as Lance Corporal Zator and Ibrahim Muhammed, but could, however, not readily give this reporter the names of the remaining two officers.
The Police District Commander mentioned some of the stolen items as air conditioners, pylon cables and refrigerators among others.
Information gleaned from an independent source indicates that some of the local people discovered that the policemen were stealing gadgets from the, barge and, therefore, reported their conduct to the District Chief Executive (DCE), Ernest Kwofie.
They later got some men to lay ambush and catch the peace officers removing the gadgets and packing them into a waiting vehicle. They were instantly arrested and handed over to their District Commander.
A management staff at the Assembly, who confirmed the story, expressed shock over the development, since they have been paying the police for protecting the barge.
Attempts made to speak to the District Chief Executive proved futile, as calls to his cell phone went unanswered.
To protect the equipment in the barge from being pilfered by social miscreants, the Jomoro District Assembly struck a deal with the District Police Command to provide 24-hour protection for the barge. They were rewarded with a token of between GH¢600 and GH¢800 monthly by the assembly.
Unfortunately, the very people protecting such a vital state asset are the same people stealing the equipment.
The 77-metre long Barge, named after Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, arrived in Ghana in 2005.
It is equipped with a pair of single-cycle heavy-duty gas turbine units built by Ansaldo that have a combined generating capacity of 125 MW.
Unfortunately, since its arrival, it has not been able to generate a single megawatt of power and is reportedly deteriorating.