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Police gun down defenceless taxi driver – chiefs demand probe

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THE CHIEF OF GBI-WEGBE, TOGBE KEH ADDRESSING THE MEDIA AT GBI-WEGBE

Tension is gradually mounting at Gbi-Wegbe in the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta region, following police invasion of the town on Friday December 9, 2022 at 11:30 pm. The invasion led to shooting and killing of a  29 year old taxi driver,  Bismarck Charles Opare.

The youth, who were angered by the barbaric incident, demonstrated through the principal streets of the town with placards some of which read ‘we need justice, no more police night patrol, police stop the killing in the name of night patrol’ among others.

Addressing a press conference at Gbe-Wegbe, the Chief of the town, Togbe Keh XII, said the chiefs, elders and the youth of the area, were surprised by the conduct of the police, who shot indiscriminately in the town.

Togbe Keh said the preliminary investigation carried out by the chiefs was that the team of police who came from Ho Command were never assigned to carry out any operation at Gbi-Wegbe.

The Chief, however said, Hohoe per the Police administrative structure, has been given a regional status with a substantive regional Police Commander and administratively therefore, any operation within its jurisdiction ought to be authorised by the Hohoe Police Command, but this was not the case.

Togbe Keh said after the police gunned down the unarmed innocent taxi driver, they left the scene to unknown destination, and that his outfit could not understand the cause of action, but described the killing as a dastardly act.

He said the chiefs were wondering as to whether the police in uniform or otherwise would engage in such operations under the guise of enforcing the law, only to end up enriching their individual pockets with monies extorted from perceived suspects.

Togbe Keh, on behalf of the chiefs, elders and the youth, appealed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to set up a non-prejudiced committee to conduct an in-depth investigation into the cause of the operation leading to the death of Opare.

He said the report should be made within two weeks, and should be made public especially to the chiefs, elders and the families of the victim, and those found culpable should be dealt with accordingly and adequate compensation paid  to the bereaved families.

Meanwhile, contacts made at the Volta Regional Police Command and that of Hohoe indicated that they were not aware of any official operation at Gbi-Wegbe because no police personnel were officially assigned on any night duty there on December 9, 2022.

SAMUEL AGBEWODE

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