UG student was arrested for breaching security – Police
The Police say they arrested a final year student of the University of Ghana on Wednesday because he breached security at an event attended by First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
Head of Public Affairs at the Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu said the young man - Reginald Sekyi Brown - posed a potential security threat to the First Lady who was at the medical facility to cut the sod for the construction of a pediatric unit.
Speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show on Thursday, ACP Eklu said Brown was approaching the First Lady and her security feared he was dangerous, a reason he was arrested.
“He was restrained by the security because he was getting too close to the First Lady and that was a clear security breach,” he told programme host Daniel Dadzie.
Brown was arrested after he held a placard and walked towards the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo while she delivered a speech at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
He claims he was at the programme to campaign and draw Mrs Akufo-Addo’s attention to the state of the University of Ghana Medical Centre.
The first phase of the $217 million facility was completed and inaugurated by former president John Dramani Mahama in 2016. It has eight separate buildings which house different specialised centres such as the emergency, imaging, operating theatres and laboratories.
The second phase of the project which will add another 350 beds to the facility will also provide specialist facilities including a heart centre, a cancer treatment centre, a rehabilitation centre and a hotel for families of patients is however yet to begin.
Parliament is said to have approved $50 million for the completion of the second phase. But even before it will begin, there have been concerns the facility already put up will deteriorate if it is not put to use.
Many calls on the Akufo-Addo-led administration seems to have fallen on deaf ears as the facility which is expected to take pressure from the Legon Hospital and cater for the health needs of residents around the Legon-Madina area.
Brown, who is a pharmacy student, is leading an online campaign for the facility to be opened. A petition has already garnered over 1,000 signatures from Ghanaians.
He was hoping to be given audience with Mrs Akufo-Addo when he was arrested.
But ACP Eklu says Brown’s arrest was necessary and it was an action any security detail will take anywhere in the world.
“It is not about the message he was carrying, but his posture. That is what we were concerned about,” he said, adding “he was holding a placard, an object and he was holding a backpack and no one knew the contents of it.”
He, however, explained that Brown was taken to the police station, his backpack searched and bail granted later.
“We realised that he didn’t have anything that could cause any harm, which is why he was released on bail and anytime we need him, he will be called,” he said.
He said the decision to arrest him was to ensure that the First lady and the other VIPs at the function were safe and Brown should have obeyed security instructions.