Crime & Punishment Sat, 13 Jan 2007

Committee to investigate an Immigration officer for Assault

Aflao (V/R), Jan 13, GNA- The authorities in charge of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) at Aflao have instituted a committee to investigate complains by a Freight Forwarder alleging that some GIS officials at the Aflao border arrival hall assaulted him on Tuesday. The committee among others is to recommend ways to removing such acts and build a good working relationship among all persons at the frontier to enhance the free movement of people and goods envisaged under the ECOWAS convention.

Meanwhile the GIS officer (name withheld) identified by the complainant among the seven officers in the alleged assault had since been withdrawn from main frontier duties.

Mr Emmanuel Amoako Yirenkyi, the Assistant Director of Immigration in charge of Aflao joined by Mr Ken Kora, a National Security Coordinator in the Volta Region and George Ayiretie, a Senior CEPS Officer on Friday briefed the GNA on the situation at the weekend He said his officers told him that the complainant had insulted the officer as being stupid when he was being screened before crossing the border.

"No matter the circumstances the assault was unfortunate considering our efforts at fostering and maintaining cordiality among all persons in our bid to fight crime and improve revenue collection " Mr Yirenkyi said.

He said his office had rendered an apology to the complainant and promised to replace items claimed damaged during the assault and also punish those found to be involved.

Mr Yirenkyi however debunked as false speculations in the area that people including an unnamed retired diplomat had either been assaulted, heckled or lashed verbally by he GIS staff, particularly the new recruits.

The complainant, Mr Daniel Akpalu, the Manager of Samtashie African Limited denied insulting the GIS staff, saying he only reacted by telling them to be mindful of their conduct after he was pushed by the officer.

He alleged that he was dragged on the ground and beaten and in the process lost his wristwatch and his shirt torn. Mr Akpalu said one of his three employees accompanying him also received a blow on the throat and had since lost his voice. He said both of them had received treatment at the Ketu District Hospital at Aflao.

Mr Kora on his part said he was satisfied with the measures being taken to resolve the case, stating that no adverse findings would be wished away. Police sources at Aflao confirmed receiving a report on the assault, saying due process of the law would be followed on the outcome of their investigations.

Source: GNA