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General News of Tuesday, 7 November 2017


Vigilantism: Deal with Ada East chaos – IGP to cops

The Inspector-General of Police (IG), David Asante Apeatu, has directed the Tema Regional Police Commander “to take immediate action on any person identified to have caused disturbances” during the Ada Ease District Chief Executive (DCE) election on Friday, November 3.

The directive was issued on Tuesday, November 7, after the IGP engaged some Police Management Board Members to review a report on the incident.

Police Public Affairs Director –General, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), David Eklu, indicated in a press statement that “the IGP interviewed the Ada District Commander at the Police Headquarters on the incident” before the action was taken.

As part of the directive, the Tema Regional Police Commander has been urged to expedite action on an assault case lodged by some seventeen Assembly members of the Ada East at the Ada Foah Police Station and submit daily report on progress of actions taken by the police.

It would be recalled that members of the Invincible Forces linked to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) were accused of allegedly assaulting some Assembly Members of the Ada East District and snatching ballot boxes during the polls to endorse President Akufo Addo’s nominee for DCE for Ada East in the Greater Accra Region, Sarah Dugbakie Pobee.

Presiding Member, Aka Simon Kobla, said he was physically assaulted and dragged out of the hall by the thugs in the presence of the Deputy Minister and District Police commander.

Narrating how things unfolded during voting to Class FM, he said: “I saw many of them in black shirts, well built and claiming that they were National Security, but I said there was nothing for me to identify them by so they should be out of the room. They refused…I even told the Police Commander of Ada Division to take him out but he told me he cannot walk anybody out.”

He continued: “At the end of the voting, when ballot papers were not sorted…they entered and they started beating me up, hitting me with the chairs that the people were sitting on and then dragged me until two of the policemen came to rescue me and I went and sat in a pickup for some time and then I came out and left. They were calling me to come and witness the counting, but I refused because they took the ballot box away and then they changed it.”

He said: “The Regional Electoral Officer went ahead to empty the ballot box and declared her [nominee] as the winner. I’m yet to know the exact figures; I didn’t sign any declaration form.”

Another Assembly member, John Kubi, told Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class FM’s 505 programme that: “They (thugs) entered just after the last person voted and the electoral officer was about to open the ballot box. They entered and beat up the Presiding Member and other Assembly members and made away with the ballot box.”

He said their motive was to “declare the nominee at all cost that she must be the DCE for Ada, meanwhile, these Invincible Forces are not coming from Ada but they want to elect a DCE for Ada”.

According to him “they made away with the ballot box and about one hour’s time, they came with it, we were not there. Later we heard they declared the results themselves and said the nominee has won”.

At the end of polls, she secured 27 out of 36 valid votes. This was after two unsuccessful attempts earlier that saw her fall short of the required two-third majority endorsement.