Soldier was not involved in Mampong robbery - GAF
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) on Wednesday said that Sergeant Isaac Fosu-Addo of the 2 Field Workshop arrested in connection with the armed robbery incident at the Asante Mampong Agency of the Otuasekan Rural Bank in October was wrongly accused.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Directorate of Public Relations of the GAF in reaction to a front page story of the October 15, 2001 edition of the "Daily Graphic" headlined: "Sgt. arrested in connection with Mampong robbery".
The statement said GAF's independent investigation into the report had established that the story was "misleading" and that the public had been "fed with half truths".
It said it had been established that the sergeant mentioned in the report was called Isaac Fosu-Addo of the 2 Field Workshop and not the 4th battalion workshop as reported by the paper.
The soldier was a brother-in-law of one Mr Kofi Mensah, who was shot to death by an unknown assailant in Kumasi and that Sgt. Fosu-Addo was deeply involved in the funeral arrangements for the late brother-in-law.
The statement said on Thursday, October 11, Sgt. Fosu-Addo travelled to Ashanti-Mampong for the burial of Mensah in a VW Golf saloon car with registration number AW 3411 R belonging to a friend and was accompanied by his wife, one Sgt. Boakye Asante and a civilian teacher of the Ministry of Defence.
It said Sgt. Fosu-Addo obtained official permission to go to Mampong and he subsequently led a convoy of a taxicab, two Nissan Urvan buses and a Mercedes Benz 207 bus, all carrying mourners and family members.
The statement said he returned to Kumasi immediately after the burial for the funeral rites, which took place at the Buokrom Estates.
The soldier, the statement said, was at the funeral in Kumasi when the armed robbery occurred and could not have been at the scene of the incident as the paper alleged. "He could, therefore, not have been at the scene of the robbery as the reporter wants the public to believe", the statement said.
The statement said that it had been established that one of the Nissan Urvan buses with registration number AS 2885 N, which was released by one Collins Kwaku Yeboah, a brother-in-law of Sgt. Fosu-Addo's wife, broke down at Mampong-Nsuta Junction due to an engine problem.
It said, however, that on October 12, Sgt. Fosu-Addo proceeded to Mampong in the VW golf car to recover the Nissan Urvan vehicle, which had broken down only to be informed that the vehicle was in police custody.
The statement said when Sgt. Fosu-Addo followed up to the police station to make enquires and identified himself as a soldier he was arrested and detained as a suspect in the robbery.
It said investigations also established that he was assaulted but was released on the same day upon the intervention of the military.
The statement noted that the bus in question did not get to Mampong on the day of the funeral and that the police recovered it from where it had broken down, far from the scene of the robbery and that it could not have been used in the robbery as stated by the paper.
It pointed out that the bus was not the property of Sgt. Fosu-Addo and neither was the soldier the owner of the Opel Omega saloon car with registration number AS 4417 R, which the report alleged was used in the armed robbery. "It appears Sgt. Fosu-Addo was a victim of circumstances. He was granted permission to fulfil a genuine social obligation."
The statement said the GAF was prepared to co-operate with the police to conduct thorough investigations into the robbery, adding that if Sgt. Fosu-Addo were found to be implicated the laws would be allowed to deal with him.
"Until then, it is unfair to put out prejudicial reports in the press to either to embarrass the individual or to portray the Armed Forces in the bad light when investigations were not conclusive", it said.
The Military High Command would neither condone acts of misconduct nor cover up its personnel who engaged in criminal acts, the statement said.