Kombian look-alike cries for justice

…after being brutalised by police

Ali Bukari – The Kombian look-alike

Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, Inspector General of Police (IGP) (left), Ali Bukari - The Kombian look-alike (right)

A 30-year old Kumasi-based mechanic, who was allegedly arrested and manhandled by a team of police officers at Nankpanduri, in October this year, after being mistaken for the country’s notorious criminal, Johnson Kombian, is calling on the Inspector General of Police(IGP), Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, to bring the perpetrators to book.

Ali Bukari suffered the misfortune when he was allegedly subjected to severe beatings by Nankpanduri police personnel, after being mistaken for the notorious jail breaker, Johnson Kombian.

Bukari, a resident of Tafo Adompom, a suburb of Kumasi, claims he was allegedly arrested and tortured on October 27, this year, on his way to neighbouring Togo, because the police suspected him to be the most wanted criminal.

Bukari said he was handcuffed and beaten severely for almost one hour by police personnel on a special operation in the Nankpanduri community, during the manhunt for the notorious criminal.

Narrating his ordeal on Fox 97.9FM, and in subsequent interview with The Chronicle, Bukari said on October 27, this year, he, together with a friend, were on their way to Togo to repair a damaged vehicle, when they were stopped in the middle of Nankpanduri town by armed police officers, who claimed they were on a special operation.

After stopping them, Bukari said the police thoroughly searched their pick-up truck, and asked them to proceed.

But, after moving few distance, the victim said the police beckoned them to stop, and ordered him (Bukari) to step out of the vehicle, to which he obliged.

He said, after getting out of the car, the police informed him that he was the one they had been looking for, and instantly started beating him, hitting his head and stomach with the butt of their guns.

Bukari said he was held hostage for close to one and a half hours, because he was suspected by the police to be Kombian.

“For almost one and half hours, I was inside the police station receiving beatings from the officers. I tried to explain to them that I was not the person they were looking for, and that I had no relations with him, but they would not listen,” he narrated.

The victim said he was only released after his companion managed to convince the police through cross-checks with telephone calls to Kumasi.

Bukari said he was forced to abort the journey and come back to Kumasi, because he was suffering from abdominal and chest pains.

According to him, he first lodged a complaint with the Tafo police, but officers at the station directed him to report the matter to the Central Command because it was not in their jurisdiction.

He said he proceeded to the Central Police Station and reported the matter to the Public Relations Office, where he was instructed to write officially to the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The victim however, stated that his ill health prevented him from following up on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer, Chief Inspector Mohammed Tanko, has confirmed in an interview with the paper that the victim reported the matter to his office, but because the incident occurred in a different region, which was beyond the jurisdiction of the command, he asked him to either report it to the Upper East Regional Police Command or petition the IGP.

Chief Tanko however, disclosed that the matter was currently before the service, and that he believed the necessary action would be taken.

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