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General News of Sunday, 24 March 2019

Source: 3news.com

Policeman who assaulted woman back at post, but facing ‘Police trial’

The Police administration has justified the reinstatement of one of its officers captured in a viral video last year physically assaulting a woman at Midland Savings and Loans Company in Accra.

Lance Corporal Frederick Amanor Godzi was interdicted in the wake of the July 19, 2018 brutality which sparked public outrage. Criminal charges were leveled against him before a circuit court, but he was later discharged for ‘want of prosecution’.

Commenting on why Godzi was recalled, Director of Public Affairs, ACP David Oklu, said “You can interdict an officer up to 90 days”.

He explained that though they needed to have taken Godzi through internal administrative trial while on interdiction, they could not do so because he was already going through court trial at the time so ““we needed to wait…”

Speaking on TV3 news analysis programme, Key Points, ACP Oklu said though Godzi is back at post, he is now being tried administratively for his conduct, and if found guilty, the necessary sanctions will apply in accordance with Police regulations.

“So as I speak now, he is now going through a trial administratively to determine whether his conduct is in line with police professional conduct,” he stated.

He noted that there was no way the police could have taken this action while the officer was facing trial in court, hence the delay in dealing with the matter internally. Godzi, he said would have been dismissed from the Service if he were found guilty by the court.

“If he was convicted, he would have been dismissed from the Police Service automatically. Since that action did not lead to conviction, he is back now facing administrative service inquiry,” ACP Oklu stated.

Why was he freed’ in court?

Police prosecutors were said to have claimed the victim, Ms Patience Osafo, was not interested in the assault case against the accused, Amanor Godzi, aka Skalla, but her lawyer, Samson Lardy Ayenini, has since rejected the prosecutors claim.

The prosecutors were said to have claimed Ms. Osafo had lost interest in the trial of the policeman and three other officials of Midland. She was said to have failed to appear in court on multiple times leading to the request for Skalla’s discharge.

However, Mr. Anyenini said Tuesday that the claim by the Police that his client was no more interested in the case is “palpable falsehood,” and explained that for the about five months that the case was in court, police prosecutors and investigators kept Ms. Osafo in the dark on what was happening.

Background

In July 2018, a video showing Skalla assaulting Ms Osafo at the Shiashie branch of the Midland Savings and Loan Company went viral on social and traditional media platforms.

Ms Osafo who was at the time holding her grandchild, had gone to the company to retrieve her savings, but after waiting for hours, she was said to have been ordered to leave because it was time for the company to clouse.

Having unsuccessfully failed countless times to get her money, she refused to leave the banking hall, causing Skalla to attempt to forcibly eject her and in the process, physically assaulted the woman while some staff looked on.