On Friday morning around 4am, a full armed police officers numbered about 60 including the SWAT Team came to our hostel while we were preparing for examination at 9am. The armed officers led by DSP Kartey Otumi (Eastern Regional police operations commander) heartlessly came to arrest us like hardened criminals while some of us were having a morning devotion, some studying and the rest asleep. The police invaded our individual rooms using electric shockers, fan belts, axes, catapults, loaded guns and other sophisticated weapons to arrest us. We were all brutally beaten up even without resisting arrest. Majority of us were in boxers, some bare chested, barefooted and we were all matched with plastic handcuffs from our hostel to the regional office which is about 45 minutes’ walk. At a point of the journey, we were asked to trot to the destination still with the handcuffs.
The real barbarism started when we finally got to the forecourt of the police station. With our hands handcuffed at our backs, we were asked to roll from one point to another then backwards, carrying of logs, making squats, lying down and facing the sun and so on. The incident was so ugly to the extent that a member was under a health attack and was seeking for help. When we asked the policemen to provide the boy with water, what one of them could say was ‘’he no be wona family member’’ (he is not a member of our family) they claimed the boy was only acting so no one was going to help him. One hostel member carried the guy into their sick bay thus the police sick bay and one sad thing was that, they asked us to pay first before any treatments could be made. Also, before anyone could go and urinate, we had to go about 20 push-ups or else, it had to be done all in our boxers.
We went through all these painful punishments and more until our Dean of Student and the leadership of our institution (Koforidua Technical University) came to our rescue. We were forced and threatened with their sophisticated weapons to sign bonds of good conduct. Before they discharged us, one of us asked a lady CID what we did wrong to deserve all we went through and what she said was that, we attacked a police patrol car in front of Lumen Pub, opposite the Vineyard hostel which was a false allegation.
Everyone was astonished because we had now come to know that the police had no reason for their actions. None of us went there to do such a thing. One thing about our hostel is unity and respect to command, we move not as a hall until our hall representative has commanded us to do so. Honestly, the charge against us was a blatant lie. We feel insecure now because the same people supposed to protect us are now attacking us and not accepting their mistakes than to cover up with lies. We are emotionally, physically, psychologically traumatized such that we are unable to prepare for the remaining exams. As a result of the incidence, majority of us couldn’t write the paper we had that very morning at 9am.
What we cry for now is for justice to prevail, the police is nowhere above the law, the law holds us all.
Chapter 5 article 14 clause five of the 1992 constitution states that ‘’A person who is unlawfully arrested, restricted or detained by any other person shall be entitled to compensation from the other person.’’
We believe we have been unlawfully arrested, restricted and detained and even causing us to miss our examination. Most of us are severely wounded and the rest left emotionally and psychologically traumatized. We therefore seek compensation from the police service, a reversal of the bond that we were made to sign under threat and the removal or transfer of the Eastern Regional operations commander of the Ghana Police service DSP Kartey Otumi.
HALL’S PRO / VICTIM
ANDERSON ENOCH KWEKU
0557403417 / 0540863778