The National Identification Authority has formally written to the police to investigate the assault on its staff by a traditional priest and five others in the Gbese Mantse’s palace in Accra on Thursday.
Dr William Ahadze, Executive Secretary of the Authority who disclosed this, said the six people also inhibited the National Identification Staff from their right to privacy and obstructed them from carrying out their duties.
On January 11, the two NIA officials were on duty registering people in a long queue at a point near the Gbese Mantse’s palace in Accra. They had to move into a section of the palace when one of the elders saw that the equipment they were using could be damaged through exposure to the sun. Even though the palace was not an official registration centre, the registration was done there to protect the equipment.
According to the victims, whilst registration was going on, a traditional priest, Nii Ogbarmey III, came in with his family to register. They were given preferential treatment because of his status.
However, five days after Nii Ogbarmey had registered, he came back to the centre with five “macho” men and demanded to know whether the registration officials were circumcised, because it was a taboo, under Ga custom for uncircumcised persons to enter the palace. When the two registration officers replied in the affirmative, the priest and his men insisted that they should show proof before they would be allowed to continue with the work.
Under pressure, one of the victims submitted to their demand and was examined, but the second officer questioned the legality of the demand and refused to submit himself for examination.
According to him, the five “macho” men immediately surrounded him and prevented him from doing his work. He was harassed and intimidated subsequently.
A fire officer who was in the queue intervened and the second victim had to submit himself for examination under pressure from the traditional priest and his men.
They later reported the matter to their supervisor who, seeing how traumatized they were, could not help but withdraw them from their duty point.
In an interview yesterday, the NIA Executive Secretary said based on police report and legal advice, the perpetrators would be dealt with according to the laws of the land.
Source: The Ghanaian Times/Ghana
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