Editorial: Recent video of police, alleged gang attack disturbing

Ghanaians were stunned by a video which went viral making rounds on social media in which one can see some policemen, with one virtually on his knees, begging about six civilians for forgiveness.

Later information gathered from a statement issued by the Ghana Police Service, dated April 2, 2023, indicated that the incident took place at Axim, in the Western part of the country. The statement further added that the barbaric scene witnessed was rather an alleged attack on a police patrol team by a gang of illegal miners (Galamseyers) in the area.

In the statement signed by ACP Grace Ansah-Akrofi, Director of Public Affairs, the gang overpowered the police team and seized the magazine of a rifle, together with some mobile phones.

Apparently, the incident happened on March 9, this year, and has taken the police some three weeks to arrest four members of the alleged gang, namely – Kojo Siah, Emmanuel Mensah, Kofi Asamoah, Maxwell Cudjoe and Agyabu Haruna Dissawu.

Kwame Ato Asare Ani, the prime suspect, currently on the run, had his residence searched and three pump action shotguns, one pump action shotgun, machetes and eight BB refilled cartridges retrieved from his unregistered Honda CRV vehicle.

Other items retrieved from the suspect include; two live refilled BB cartridges and one unregistered motorbike.

The statement makes it more interesting to read, particularly with the police telling us that there was an allegation of extortion against the officers. Therefore, the matter had been referred to the Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB) for investigation. We say kudos to the police.

Although the police have stated that they were searching for the prime suspect, a man who allegedly claimed to be the prime suspect was granted an interview on a social media platform on the same day the statement was issued, throwing light on the incident.

Two things that hit The Chronicle are, he is a police informant and from the video it cannot be disputed that he is a stranger to the officers, whose images were captured, and also performs difficult tasks for the police.

He made several allegations, including linking the incident of his near arrest to dishonesty on his part to release about GH¢100,000 to some police officers in the area. He claimed receiving the amount from some illegal miners (galamaseyers) to be delivered to the officers in question. According to him, he always does such clandestine business with the police officers, but sometimes they cheat him.

If the allegation is anything to go by, then the fight against galamsey is meaningless and a waste of public resources. It is also useless if the love for money has taken precedence over the consciousness of some of our men and women in uniform, at the expense of ensuring peace and security, protecting lives and properties and law enforcement. No wonder our river bodies still remain polluted and the forests continue to be degraded.

We want to appeal to the Police Service to seriously do a retrospection and purge itself from many of these allegations, especially in the face of growing insecurity in our sub-region.


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