The Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) has promoted a Lance Corporal to the rank of Corporal for capturing an escaped prisoner from the Ahinsan Camp Prison in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.
Cpl. Edward Opoku, service number 11557, a sound engineer with the Prison's Master Piece Band, was rewarded for his valor and professionalism in recapturing the escaped prisoner on December 3, 2012, in Bomfa Akyiase, Ashanti Region.
Since December 2016, Cpl Opoku, who is based in Accra, has been a member of the Prison Service Band unit.
In Accra, during a brief ceremony honoring Cpl Opoku in the presence of senior GPS officials, his colleagues, his family, and his friends, he was presented with a citation following his administrative promotion.
Cpl Opoku told the Daily Graphic that he was on his way to visit a friend in Asiwa, Kumasi, Ashanti Region, but he was forced to stop at Bomfa Akyiase because the driver of the commercial vehicle he was riding in decided to terminate the journey there.
Before he could resume his journey, he learned from community members that a fugitive who had escaped from prison had been apprehended for stealing a cell phone.
Cpl Opoku endangered his life to save the fugitive from the angry locals who were about to lynch him.
"I was hurt while attempting to safeguard the fugitive.
I feared for the fugitive's life, but the enraged mob refused to listen to me.
At some stage, I had to show them my identification card," he said.
Cpl Opoku stated that he took the apprehended fugitive to a police station in Pemenase, a community located after Bomfa Akyiase, where the incident occurred, because there was no police station in Bomfa Akyiase.
At the police station, the on-duty officers refused to take in the fugitive because "they feared he might die in their custody because he was so weak from the beatings," according to Cpl Opoku.
The prisoner was then taken to a medical facility, where both he and the prisoner received medical care, before being detained at the Kumasi Central Prison and later transferred to the Prison's headquarters in Accra.
"These types of occurrences are uncommon.
He stated that you would not find any fugitive prisoners roaming the area.
Cpl Opoku thanked the GPS leadership, particularly Director-General Isaac Kofi Egyir, for the recognition.
Mr. Egyir praised Cpl. Opoku's professionalism, fortitude, and courage in recapturing the fugitive.
He stated that the bravery and skill he displayed should inspire all service personnel and officers to be devoted to their duties.
"This promotional method deviates from the general rules and specifications outlined in these guidelines.
"The recipient must have demonstrated exceptional integrity, ability, bravery, and efficacy," he said.