Wa killings: Residents dismiss Ambrose Dery's directive to allow police carry out investigations

Ambrose Dery Interior Minister, Hon. Ambrose Dery

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Upper West Region

The Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, on Monday, September 19, 2022, visited the Upper West Region to ascertain the security situation on the grounds in the Wa Municipality following the recent murders.

He had an engagement with the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to brainstorm the way forward from the quagmire the region is currently in. He also met with the Overlord of the Wala Traditional Area, Wa Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV.

In his interaction with the media, the minister while acknowledging the role of the local search teams in the investigations so far, called on the people to allow the Police to do the "real work" since it is their domain to do so, indicating failure to do so would amount to usurping their authority.

According to him, the role of residents must remain in the supplying of critical information to the Police that can lead to the arrest of the perpetrators to bring them to book.

"The security agencies - the Ghana Police is in control of the situation. They, led by the IGP will investigate whatever has happened in the past and all. What I'm assuring the Wa Naa is that the security agencies so far are up to the task and we believe we'll support them to do their work. It's in their domain of investigating crime.

"But I did make it clear that in all these matters, the policy is for the rule of law to be enforced. If you have information, you surrender it and give it to the security agencies to use. You do not resort to self-help or you usurp the role of the security agencies. That we have asked the Chief to thank the community for their passion to help, and for the information that they have been giving and continue to give. They should leave the real work to the Police. Only give them the information, don't attack anybody, because if you attack anybody, you yourself will be a subject of investigations," the minister warned.

However, some residents who spoke to GhanaWeb expressed disappointment over the pronouncement by the Interior Minister. They believe the security agencies alone cannot do the work effectively without the help of the locals who are able to enter the inner areas where the Police do not go.

"They can't do the operation alone. Even without weapons, we risk our lives to go into the bushes to search, where the Police don't venture. We even pleaded with them to allow us to arm ourselves as we do the search but they declined the request," a member of the search team, Abdul-Suamad told GhanaWeb.

Seidu Kasim, another resident also stated: "We appreciate the fact that there was another deployment of officers to help in the investigations and they can be seen stationed all over the municipality. But my problem is, they shouldn't be roaming only the streets because these murders are rather taking place in the inner areas in the evening under the cover of night. We're really living in fear. Security should up their game and ensure our safety. The Interior Minister was wrong to say we should leave the Police alone to carry out the investigations when it's the local people whose search led to the discovery of the first body and resulted in the arrest of the prime suspect.

"For the Interior Minister to ask us to leave the Police alone to do the work is not right. I agree with him when he said we should not take the law into our own hands to attack anybody but to ask us to leave everything to the security is below the belt. After all, who helped in discovering the first body as well as the prime suspect? They need to continue the collaboration with members of the community to bring us relief," Fati Iddrisu, also a resident argued.

Baba Alhasan also speaking to GhanaWeb alleged what he believes is a loophole in the investigations of the Police which he wants to be looked at.

"The mistake I think the Police are making is the fact that they are selective in their searching of vehicles. When the Police see plush fancy vehicles, they let them go and don't bother to search them at all but would be eager to search the less fancy and rickety ones. It's as though to suggest a nice plush vehicle cannot be used to commit such atrocities. As a security agency and considering the situation we've found ourselves in, the Police must search every vehicle they come across on the road. Not even the Regional Minister's vehicle should be spared. Emergency situations demand special measures."

The Inspector-General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, was also in the region on Monday, September 19, to among other things, ensure the Police were well positioned to find closure to the increasing murders in the Wa Municipality.

However, less than 24 hours after the arrival of the Interior Minister and the IGP, another unidentified male adult was found dead by the Police near Wa Senior High School Monday night.

Following this, the Police issued a statement Tuesday, placing a GH¢100,000.00 reward for any relevant information that would result in the arrest of the suspects.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com