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Crime & Punishment of Monday, 1 April 2019

Source: atinkaonline.com

Ada residents accuse police officers of aiding criminals

Residents in and around Sege in the Ada West District of the Greater Accra Region are asking the Tema Regional Police Command and the IGP to cause a major shakeup in the Ada Divisional Police administration before peace and security breaks down totally.

According to some worried residents, the law enforcement officers who are mandated to protect the citizenry and maintain law and order rather turn to abet crime through their conducts and undermine the security of the area, culminating in the increase in robbery, illicit drug trade and burglary in the area.

Atinkaonline investigation reveals that the collaborative efforts by the Ada West Command, the assembly, and watchdog groups to combat crime are thwarted by underhand dealings of some personnel at the police command. It has been established by our news team that some police investigators take money from criminals and release them soon after their arrest.

The freshest case was the release of one Emmanuel Sorgbordzor known as Alaley, a wanted drug peddler noted for the sale of cannabis, Tramadol, and Cocaine to early teenagers at Sege, a day after he was arrested with four others with several illicit substances in his residence. Alaley was released a day after their arrest in what residents described as weak charges proffered against him.

The investigation also uncovered that the divisional police hierarchy is responsible for the questionable releases of several criminals when arrested, frustrating the work of both the watchdog team and the District Command. The worrying aspect is that the residents alleged that some personnel in the Ada West Police Command even give criminals a tip-off anytime the police intend to strike, in order to enjoy some of the booties later. The situation has become a major headache for the DCE, Adzoteye Lawer Akrofi who places premium on security.

It will be recalled that in April last year, a gang of criminals comprising two females and three men led by a notorious robber, Alaska who was on the police wanted list for years were arrested at Sege after they looted many shops in the area but were later freed under bizarre circumstances to the dismay of the public.

The police were again faulted by the residents during the “Terhe burnt Chief corpse” incident. A top officer with the District Police Command allegedly thwarted the watchdog team's effort by releasing some criminals who the team had earlier apprehended in the community when they went to the Terhe community to destroy a grave prepared for the burial of the late Chief, Nene Mensah Zotorvie. The criminals upon their release on the same day returned and burnt a hearse containing the late Chief's remains and killed a mourner and injured many others. The District Command last month released a farmer who fiercely resisted arrest after burning acres of farm crops on a disputed land at Huakpo in the district, without arraigning him before the law court.

Some worried residents who spoke to atinkaonline on condition of anonymity said some police investigators extort money from arrested criminals and free them as soon as possible and even disclose the identities of informants to these criminals who later attack them.

The residents, therefore, called on the Regional Commander as well as the IGP to as a matter of urgency do some transfers in the entire Ada Police Divisional Command particularly the Ada West District since their security is threatened by the officers. They argued that the war against crime by the DCE will be in vain should their call be ignored.