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Regional News of Saturday, 20 January 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Motorists accuse Kpandai Police of extortion

Motorists plying section of the Eastern Corridor road have accused police at Kpandai in the Northern Region of wanton extortion at checkpoints.

Motorbikes, due to the nature of the road, are the only viable means of transport from the district to nearby communities in the Volta region. An upsurge of robbery attacks on the commuters prompted routine deployment of personnel to specific spots of the road.

However, residents claim the police officers have turned the operation to foil, confront activities of armed robbers on the road into money minting mission, extorting monies from unsuspecting commuters.

Some of the extortion victims speaking to Starr News mentioned that officers have built heavy barriers on the Kpandai- Katijeli road where they take GH50 from each rider.

The issue came to light as the commuters begun to speak out after a dramatic encounter Thursday afternoon involving a rider and a senior police officer of the Kpandai district.

The victim, Nakoja John, disclosed he was traveling from Kpandai to Karachi on his new motorbike when a police officer stopped him and demanded GH50 to be used “to buy soap to wash his clothes,” and refused to release his motorbike.

He said he was detained for nearly one and half hour for his inability to pay up the levy and was later rescued through combined efforts of both District Cheif Executives for Kpandai and Karachi.

“This morning I went to Kpandai to buy a new motorbike. When I was coming; the barrier between Kpandai and Katijeli, the policeman stopped me and asked me to come. When I went he asked me when I bought my motorbike and I said today, then he asked me to pay GH50. He told me as for them when you buy new motorbike then you are supposed to pay GH50 and those with old ones will pay GH5”.

He added the officer even at a certain stage refused to take GH2 from him when he realised his numerous plea could not make him soften his stand, which compelled him to report the officer’s conduct to the Karachi DCE, Douglas Nti.

The officer initially refused to yield when the District Chief Executive attempted to intervene by telephone and it took the district commander, ASP Francis Akwasi Asante to instruct the officer to release the traveller who had been detained for refusing to pay bribe.

He said the officer was disturbed for being asked to release him without taking money.

The district police command has not responded to request for comments on the matter.