General News of Wednesday, 17 May 2006
Source: Daily Graphic
Seventy two suspected criminals who have been arranged at the Accra Circuit Court yesterday wailed and yelled uncontrollably after they were remanded for two weeks.
Their pleas were not taken and they will re-appear on Monday 30, 2006. As the police vehicle which brought them to the court took them away, numerous sympathizers who had besieged the court premises to console the suspects joined in the fray and hurled invectives at the police for arresting innocent people and rather leaving the real criminals to roam the streets freely.
The suspects, including some women, were last Friday arrested by the Accra Regional Police Command in parts of the city during the re-launch of night patrols and other operations to fight criminals in the region, especially car and mobile phone snatchers.
Seventy- two suspects, including four females, whose ages range between 18 and 30, were arrested at some crime- prone areas such as the Accra Girls? Secondary School, Accra Railways, Nima and Tudu.
The police seized three unregistered motor bikes, Indian hemp and other narcotic drugs during the operation.
Some of the suspects alleged that they were on their way to take their bath, attend to the call of nature or do other things when they were swooped upon by the police.
Infact, while some of the suspects showed evidence of their claims by bringing along with them to the courtroom towels and sponges, others also claimed that they were going home after work.
Narrating the facts of the case to the court, Deputy Superintendent of police (DSIP) Eric Amoako said the suspects were arrested following police swoops on some communities in Accra in the early hours of last Friday to mark the beginning of the war on criminals.
He said the suspects were armed robbers, Indian hemp smokers and traffickers and mobile phone snatchers.
DSP Amoako said some of the suspected criminals were arrested when they were openly smoking Indian hemp and that because of the constitutional requirement that stipulated that nobody should be detained for 48 hours, it was necessary for them to be remanded to enable the police to conduct thorough investigations into the matter.
He said after the investigations, the police would be in a better position to prefer the appropriate charges against the suspects.
Mr. Nii Kwei Thompson, counsel for Alfred Cudjoe, one of the suspects, showed to the court an identity card indicating that his client was a worker and that he was arrested after he had closed from work and was on his way home.
Mr. Thompson?s prayer for bail was refused and the court said it wanted the police to do a thorough screening of the suspects so that those whop would be found to have been wrongly arrested could be released.