When the police become a tool for abuse of citizen

Sun, 29 Sep 2013 Source: Osei, Joseph

*The story of poor man who escaped jail.*

By Joseph Osei.**

It becomes a nerve-racking condition when the police who are theoretical to protect citizens, use their uniform to extort daunt and infringe on the rights of the citizens. My heart goes out to many innocent people in prison because they couldn’t pay for justice which must be free for all.

An innocent man who was drawn in an India hemp case because he did not pay 1500 cedis bribe demanded by the police in Adiembra in the Ashanti Region, has finally been released by the Kumasi circuit court 3. The police led by the inspector in an attempt to cover their evil deeds, implicating the accused Ernest Asare, with the drug after i reported the case to the Deputy police regional Commander about how the guy was arrested and been in the cells for 6 days without trial or bail. The police who arrested him confirmed to the family and i on phone that they didn't found any drug on him but as their custom demands, he must pay prior to his release. The police statement to the court defeats their own stand. They said they arrested Ernest in his house and found the drug in a tin under his bed, meanwhile Ernest don’t have a bed, he lives in an extended family house and the family and the entire community confirmed that, the police did not come to the house, they didn’t know Ernest was arrested till the next day. I have been fighting for this man who is completely a stranger to me.

Residents of this community have been living with this for a very long time because of the fear victimization by the inspector of the Adiembre police station. I got to know of it when a young man by name Ernest Asare was arrested on allegation of dealing in India hemp. I acted as relative who was to pay a fee of 1500 cedis for the release of Ernest whom the police have long-established to me and the family that nothing was found on him after a meticulous search conducted, but as the norm of the station no one comes there without paying a fee before the person is granted bail or release. The case became complicated when the police realized I was a journalist and I have reported them to the regional police command. The Regional Public Relation Officer DSP Mohammed Tanko ordered that the case be brought to the regional level. The police in to defend their actions, implicated the accused with India hemp which was not found on him because their credibility will be question if the regional command realized the accused was innocent.

In my quest to follow Ernest case opened other cases with similar situation and the victims have been refused court hearing, bail or release because they could not pay money to the inspector.

After my intervention, Residents of the community, Atweafutu, in the Atimaa Amponuah District of the Ashanti region are demanding for the immediate transfer of all police personnel at the Adiembra police station and investigated for infringing on the rights of citizens there. According to the Assemblyman of the area Bernard Boachi, the police there are abusing the power given them and have resulted to using their uniform to extort money from uninformed community members.

Efforts by the police administration to restore the image of the service is been toppled by cases of this nature. Together let us fight for the poor, the marginalized, neglected, abused and isolated in our society. Fighting for the helpless

It becomes a worrying situation when the police who are supposed to protect citizens, use their uniform to extort intimidate and infringe on the rights of the citizens. My heart goes out to many innocent people in prison because they couldn’t pay for justice which must be free for all.

The Writer is an investigative Journalist

Ultimate Radio, Kumasi


Columnist: Osei, Joseph