Former National Security Advisor, Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, has advised the Ghana Police Service against using torture in extracting information from the prime suspect being held in connection with the kidnapping of three girls in the Sekondi/Takoradi metropolis and Effia Kwesimintsim municipality in the Western Region.
The suspect, Samuel Udoetuk-Wills, a Nigerian who previously escaped from police custody, was recaptured while sleeping in an abandoned building a few weeks ago.
The police have said the suspect is not cooperating with them and has refused to volunteer any credible information that will lead to the rescue of the girls.
The families of the abductees have appealed to the public to help locate the girls. Some members of the public have suggested the police use torture on the suspect to extract the necessary information.
However, in an interview with Benjamin Akakpo on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Wednesday, 23 January 2019, the former Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) said he does not subscribe to such techniques.
“I don’t submit to torture. I think it is wrong. If you torture somebody to give you information, because of the torture, he will just say something to get out of trouble. I don’t believe in torture. If you have gotten proper training, you don’t need to torture somebody to get intelligence. I don’t support torture at all,” he said.
In his view, the police are trained enough to employ other tactics to get intelligence from the suspect.
“They [police] have been trained, they have gone for courses and should know how to do it, and I’m sure we should have some good policemen around. I know they can deal with it. They know what to do to get the job done,” he insisted.
He, however, indicated that the Ghana Police Service should be re-tooled to handle such cases and other criminal activities.
“Are they equipped to address them manpower wise, training wise, and committed to deal with the problem? The police are not prepared, are people willing to give information to the police to help them to address these issues?” he questioned.
He said: “The police should have informants but if the informants get this information, are they even safe?”
In his view, the authorities must address the socio-economic challenges being faced by the youth, especially regarding joblessness so as to help curb such rising social vices.
“We have to look at the cause of this thing and not only the cure,” he stressed, adding: “As long as we don’t tackle socio-economic issues, criminal things will evolve because people are hungry and need to find food to eat, so, evil comes to mind”.