General News of Friday, 7 April 2017
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said ineptitude of police in the Ashanti Region resulted in Thursday’s incident at a Kumasi Circuit Court by members of the Delta Force, a private security arm within the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
According to him, every competent security person should at all times anticipate that miscreants would want to foment trouble, hence the right measures should have been put in place to forestall any misconduct. To the extent that that was not done in the case of the attack on the Circuit Court, the security personnel could be described as incompetent.
His comments follow an explanation by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Nana Asante Apeatu, that the police did not anticipate an escape by the 13 Delta Force members who had been arraigned, considering the fact that they willingly presented themselves to be sent to court prior to the hearing.
He was reacting to the news of the 13 vigilantes who escaped from their custody with the help of fellow Delta Force colleagues who had thronged a criminal hearing at a Kumasi Circuit Court.
The 13, who were remanded into prison custody and billed to reappear on 20 April, were whisked away through the backdoor of the judge’s chamber by their supporters.
The IGP, in a press release on Thursday April 6, stated: “We had police officers at the court and we had about 20 officers on standby, but if you remember we gave the accused persons [police] bail when they were suspects and they willingly appeared before the court, so you can imagine that the extent of danger or likelihood of they escaping was not as high as we will believe.”
But speaking in an interview with Accra-based Radio Gold on Friday April 7, Mr Nketia said: “Every competent security person should anticipate that those on trial, they are likely to attract some fanatics who will try to beat the police, so they anticipate that and they take measures to deal with it.
“The day Tsatsu Tsikata was sent to court and jailed, the whole security apparatus was deployed around the High Street area there to prevent anything untoward from happening because of the sensitive nature of the case.
“This is a case involving assault on a security officer. The president has ordered that these people should be dealt with and then a Member of Parliament and senior member of the party come out to dare the president that nobody can touch anybody in the Delta Force…
“Even me, a non-police officer, can’t I anticipate that the day they will be sent to court the other members of the force will mobilise and go there the same way they attacked the regional administration?”