IGP declares ‘war’ on vigilante groups

The Inspector-General Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu,

Following acts of lawlessness by some members of the Delta Force in Kumasi last Thursday, the Inspector-General Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, has declared war on the activities of vigilante groups, mass disorder and disturbances in the country.

He said acts of lawlessness by those vigilante groups had the propensity to cast a slur on the hard-won image of the country, adding: “As a nation, we have come very far in our democratic pursuit and we cannot afford to slip.”

Addressing the media during a visit to Kumasi last Saturday, the IGP described the acts of the vigilante groups as “infantile, reprehensible and unGhanaian” and condemned them in no uncertain terms.

His visit to Kumasi was precipitated by an incident in which 13 members of the Delta Force escaped lawful custody, with the aid of some of their members.

That was after the 13 had been arrested and remanded in prison custody for assaulting the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, Mr George Adjei, and threw him out of office.

They claimed that Mr Adjei was not part of those who had worked in the trenches in the region for the NPP to secure a resounding victory and, therefore, he could not be made the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator.

Additional charges

Commenting on the incident, the IGP said the members of Delta Force who escaped lawful custody were going to face additional charges.

He said although the 13 had turned themselves in, they would be charged with “escaping or permitting themselves to be rescued from lawful custody” under Section 226 (c) of the Criminal Offences Act of 1960.

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Ostensibly to prevent what had occurred at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Circuit Court, the IGP was in Kumasi with members of the Police SWAT team who were well built, armed to the teeth and in armoured vehicles.

They also came in riot control vehicles.

Touching on the eight persons who aided the 13 to escape, Mr Asante-Apeatu said they would be charged with “disturbing of court” under Section 223 of the Criminal Offences Act (Act 29 of 1960) and “resisting arrest and rescuing” under Section 226 (1B) of the same act.

Other charges, he said, would be preferred against the eight accomplices after investigations.

The IGP said the Police Administration had commenced investigations into the entire episode, with particular focus on police operations on the court premises, with the view to identifying the operational defects associated with the incident and addressing them.

Security for courts
He assured members of the Judiciary that being the bulwark of the nation’s democracy, the Police Administration would provide their facilities with adequate security and ensure their safety at all times for them to dispense justice.

Commenting on the menace of vigilante groups which had become a topical issue, Mr Asante-Apeatu recounted the efforts by his predecessors to stamp out the phenomenon and said the isolated case of the Delta Force in Kumasi was “alien to our culture and [is] criminal”.

He said the Police Administration would resort to all legal means to end the problem, including dialogue, enforcement and enactment of laws.

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Stroy by the Daily Graphic

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