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xxxxxxxxxxx of Friday, 22 March 2019

Source: 3news.com

'Missing’ trotro driver and mate who assaulted police officer found in BNI custody

The trotro driver and his mate arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer have been found in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) in Accra, two days after they could not be traced by lawyers.

The Police CID is said to have explained in a meeting with Amnesty International Ghana and Human Rights Advocacy Centre Friday that the two were taken to BNI custody to avoid a possible assault on them in police cells.

HRAC which is seeking to offer legal representation for the two accused persons claimed Thursday the police appeared unaware of the whereabouts of the driver, Francis Buabeng, and his mate, Albert Ansah who were supposed to be in police custody.

It said Thursday that though the Odorkor District Police claimed to have transferred the two from their custody to the police headquarters in Accra, officials at the headquarters also denied receiving the accused persons.

Efforts by HRAC officials to trace the two accused persons on March 20 proved futile as they could not be found in several police stations in Accra visited.

The group was forced to write to the Inspector General of Police and the Police CID Thursday to demand the whereabouts of the two persons who were remanded into police custody on Monday by a circuit court.

By Thursday evening, Amnesty International Ghana chapter had joined HRAC and other civil society groups in demanding the whereabouts of the trotro driver and his mate.

Following the letter to the Police and the demand from the public, the Police CID invited HRAC and Amnesty International into a meeting over the matter Friday at which they were informed the accused persons have been sent to BNI cells.

After discussions with the group, the Director General of the Police CID issued letters to HRAC and Amnesty International Ghana to take to the BNI in order to have access to the two accused persons.

Executive secretary of HRAC, Cynnthia Nimo Ampadu told 3news.com after the meeting that a standby legal team has been set up for the accused persons.

Currently, HRAC and Amnesty International Ghana including private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu are at the BNI headquarters going through the necessary procedures to gain access to the accused persons.

Offence

The driver, Francis Buabeng, and his mate, Albert Ansah, were arrested last week after they were captured in video exchanging blows with a uniformed police officer at a bus stop around Weija in Accra.

Reports suggest the driver jumped red light and was pursued by the officer on a motorbike to a bus stop where the officer allegedly assaulted the driver who also got down from the mini bus to retaliate in similar manner.

They were arrested and put before the Weija Circuit Court on Monday without legal representation, and remanded into police custody to appear again April 1.