Johnson Kombian, the notorious killer and armed robber is an enigma. When he was on the loose, he was a danger to society. While serving sentence he broke jail, killed two police personnel, maimed many others, and left the population of the three regions in Northern Ghana living in fear.
Even in captivity, Kombian is still creating confusion in society. At his first appearance before an Accra Circuit Court on Monday, he created even more controversy by claiming, through the prosecution, that he bribed his way to freedom while doing time at the Tamale Central Prisons.
It is this piece of addition to his profile as a criminal that is a source of worry to The Chronicle.
We are aware of the frantic efforts by the Ghana Prisons Service to dismiss the claim as not representing the truth. But, the prison authorities have failed so far to enlighten the Ghanaian population on how the prisoner got away.
All they are saying is that it was due to negligence on the part of certain officers that allowed the notorious convict to get away. We do not buy this suggestion. Was the neglect induced by monetary or other forms of reward?
The entire society would like to know, and let it be known, that this is not the first jail-break in the history of the justice system in this country. Over the years, convicted prisoners have managed to escape from captivity.
Early in the year, a number of armed robbers captured and placed in custody at the Sekondi Prisons broke jail. Three of them were recaptured, but a number are still on the run, posing a danger to security personnel and the general populace. That is why we are calling for full scale investigations into the claim by Kombian that he greased the palms of a prison officer to gain his freedom.
We are unable to make much meaning out of Kombian’s allegation. That is why it is necessary to probe further to unravel the hidden facts. If it is indeed, true that Kombian bribed a prison officer, then that uniformed personnel aided and abetted the notorious criminal in the killing of the two police officers he allegedly gunned down after his escape from prison.
The probe would also enable this society to have a fair idea about the integrity of the men and women paid by the state to ensure that convicted prisoners, locked up by the state, could be accounted for.
Bribery is a crime in our statutes books. It is one of the negative reasons why we are unable to make much headway in the socio-economic evolution of this nation as a sovereign state.
When the allegation is directed against those whose duty it is to reform criminals, the state ought to be interested in the matter. The Chronicle is inviting the Ministry for the Interior to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegation.
We have the hunch that an internal investigation by the prison authorities might only scratch the surface. It may not get to the bottom of the matter.