Residents of Luhour-Ada community have described a Ghana Police statement released on the clash between them and the police as false.
According to a statement signed by Mr Isaac T. Gbenartey, Assembly Member, Hwakpo-Addokope Electoral Area and Member, Progressive Network, Luhuor, the said release by the Ghana Police Service is “incongruous, deceptive, self-defense borne out of bad faith and an attempt to shield the Tema Regional Command, Ada Division and Electrochem land guards that unlawfully attacked and perpetrated serious criminal activities within the Community.”
It would be recalled that on October 26, this paper carried a story on its front page about some 800 residents of Luhuor in the West Ada District of the Greater Accra Region fleeing from the community after some police personnel visited brutality on them on Friday, October 22.
Our story indicated that the police personnel, numbering about 80, beat and kicked anybody they saw in the village, except children. They also burnt six motorbikes, knocked down a couple of buildings and ruined a taxi and motorcycle.
This was because in the afternoon of Thursday, October 21, a police pick-up, with registration number GP 4652, carrying two masked persons and two police personnel, was prevented from driving through the village to a salt mining concession that the government had leased to Electrochem, a private investor.
The youth demanded the police to unmask the two persons onboard their vehicle before they are allowed to drive through, which subsequently resulted in a scuffle and brutalities.
But on October 28, this paper was given pictorial evidence which suggested that the residents of Luhuor threw the first punch and the police also responded with heavier punches.
But reacting to the police report, the Assemblyman indicated that the operation was not done solely by the Ada Divisional Command, but it was done together with Tema Regional Command and Electrochem land guards.
He also indicated that the group stormed the Community with Nine (9) pickups and a VIP Bus, broke into more than seventy (70) rooms and made away with TV sets, mobile phones, monies, motorbikes and tricycles. It is also embarrassing that a Police Officer broke into a kitchen and stolen Pork Meat from a pot of soup.
He made other revelations that were contrary to what was contained in the police report and called on the Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo-Dampare, to call his men to order, call for investigation and let justice prevail.
“We are by this release calling on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare to call his men in the Tema Regional Command and Ada Division to order and institute an independent investigation into the engagement of Land Guards, destruction of properties and seek justice for Luhuor Community members who were maltreated.”
Below is the full statement released by Mr Gbenartey;
SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT ON THE POLICE BRUTALITY AT LUHUOR-ADA;
- We, the good people of Luhuor-Ada have noted with utter dismay and disappointment a Press Release issued by the Ghana Police Service dated 27th October, 2021 concerning the brutality and inhumane treatment meted on the Luhuor Community by the Tema Regional Command, Ada Divisional Command (Sege & Kasseh) and their cohorts, supposed to be Land Guards of Electrochem Ghana Limited on Friday, 21st October, 2021.
- We consider the said release by the Ghana Police Service as incongruous, deceptive, self-defense borne out of bad faith and an attempt to shield the Tema Regional Command, Ada Division and Electrochem land guards that unlawfully attacked and perpetrated serious criminal activities within the Community, an act contrary to the Police own Code of Conduct.
- For the records, we want to state unequivocally that, it’s false and mischievous on the part of the Ghana Police Service to have claimed and misinformed the General Public that twenty Nine (29) suspects have been arraigned before the Tema Circuit Court A, on Monday, 25th October, 2021. This false claim of the Police is contrary to their document presented at the court.
- On the contrary, we find the claim by the Police that the said members of Luhuor assaulted two Police Officers as a preposterous and deliberate attempt by the Police Service not to just tarnish the image of the Community but a scheme to cover up for Electrochem Land Guards, dressed in Police tactical pant, boot and face mask like armed robbers, wearing Electrochem shirt on top. The supposed Police Officers and their Electrochem Land Guard counterparts entered the Luhuor Community and claimed that they were chasing a motorbike. This contradicts the Police statement that suggested the officers were responding to the Electrochem Ghana Limited distress call. Again, it must be emphasised that the Police Officers were protected by the Community members and this can be supported by the widely circulated video. No Police Officer was either assaulted or held hostage by the members.
- Again, it must be established that Electrohem Ghana Limited has nothing of any kind, be it property or whatsoever within the Luhuour Community, hence, the Police claimed that Electrochem Ghana Limited at Luhuor was under attack by some Community members was a brutal lie. Even assuming without admitting that Electrochem exists within the claimed jurisdiction, it will be necessary for the company and the Police to acknowledge and respect the terms of its lease agreement, including clause 1.5.
- Contrary to the Police statement, No weapon or whatsoever belonging to the Police was seized by the community members. The purported weapon and a box of ammunition as found, were reported and admitted at the Police Headquarters. We are amused by the sudden turn by the Police, as initial information available to us confirmed the weapon as locally manufactured and wasn’t a property of the Ghana Police Service by the Anti Armed Robbery Unit, has metamorphosed to be a Police weapon as claimed in the Police statement. The said weapon was reported at the Police Headquarters because of the mistrust and compromised nature of the Police within the Tema Regional Command and the Ada Divisional Command, who are constantly operating with the likes of Alhassan, a notorious land guard of Electrochem Ghana Limited.
- Moreover, it must be made clear that Nene Dadebom Anim II, Kofi Dzagble, Joshua Larweh, Wisdom Dzagble and Onyame Koble are all not members of the Luhuor Community, neither were they in the community on the said date. We ask, why the strange attempt to impose and regard all these persons as members of the Luhuor Community? It must be known to the Police that Bonikope, Toflokpo and Luhuor are certainly not the same.
- Again, we find it shocking the Police claimed that a Toyota cross-country vehicle was destroyed by the suspects when the said vehicle was part of the three (3) Police vehicles that returned to the Community few hours later and was without any damage. It must be said that, the Sege District Commander, who led the second coming of the team, never mentioned or complained of any damaged vehicle as part of the concerns raised in his engagement with the Honourable Assembly Member of the area.
- As a Community, we want to put it on records that the said operation carried out at Luhuor on Friday, 22nd October, 2021 was not done solely by the Ada Divisional Command but together with Tema Regional Command and Electrochem land guards (miscreants), ransacked the Community with Nine (9) pickups and a long VIP Bus, broke into more than seventy (70) rooms and made away with TV sets, mobile phones, monies, motorbikes and tricycles. So shameful to note that a Police Officer broke into a Kitchen and stole Pork Meat from a pot of soup.
- In fact, these hoodlums of Police did not just steal but also destroyed many properties; burnt motorbikes, broke TV sets, vandalised a vehicle and maltreated members of the community, including children, young and elderly people, including persons who are sick.
- It is interesting to know that, these hoodlums of Police carried a Seventy four (74) years old man by the name Nomo Charles Kwablah Ofoe out from his sick bed and threw him outside on the ground. The same treatment was meted on a Seventy-six (76) years old woman, Madam Victoria Ocloo (Maama Afuaamame), her grandson who takes care of her was also arrested while on nature’s call and was beaten to pulp.
- Furthermore, several women, including Doeyo, Amakuor, Ohui and many others were asked to sleep with their back on the road and ask to stare at the sun for hours, with some of them heavily beaten with wire.
- These miscreants of Police Officers again broke into a drinking bar/store of a Community member, drank four (4) crates of Club Beer, four (4) boxes of voltic water, a number of soft drinks and bottles of Akpeteshie among others by the ‘drunkards’ of Police Officers. Also, they stole loaves of bread and destroyed many other items in the store.
- The Police Officers, out of their alcoholism, again arrested an eighty (80) years old man, who doubles as the acting Stool Father of the community, seventy-five (75) years old woman who was locked at the Tema Community four (4) Police cell four for (4) good days. Same with other elderly men between the ages of 65 to 75 years, with some kicked to the ground while others were slapped and knocked with objects. All these atrocities and devilish acts were visited on the community members, all in the name to reclaim a supposed weapon that had been already reported at the Police Headquarters.
- We strongly believe that this is nothing but an attempt by the Police within the Tema-Ada Region to intentionally create fear, tension, cause mayhem, please their ‘Pay Master’ and to empower and cover-up for Electrochem land guards like Alhassan, who were wielding guns and others weapons to continue with their criminal activities in the area. Hence, unwarranted attacked and arrest of persons we believe to be innocent of the allegations levelled against them. These same land guards, in conjunction with the Police officers from Tema and Ada, invaded the Luhuor Community on 24th June 2021, between the hours of 11:40 pm and 12:20 am, arrested some persons in a Rambo-style amidst firing of guns.
- It must again be said that the Police in the region is gradually becoming an epitome of lawlessness, as some Police Officers are conspicuously working with some officers of some state agencies to deny bail to five (5) minors, including a final year JHS student, despite bail granted by the court.
- We, by this statement, caution institutions and individuals rented by MacDan and Electrochem Ghana Limited to be mindful of their actions, along with the Luhuor community.
- We shall defend with our blood the toil of our fathers, including the blood of the innocent pregnant woman and her unborn baby. We, therefore, warn persons involved in the cunningly and heinous enterprise of Electrochem to be careful.
- We are by this release calling on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, to call his men in the Tema Regional Command and Ada Division to order and institute an independent investigation into their engagement of Land Guards, destruction of Properties and seek justice for Luhuor Community members who were maltreated.