A Policeman’s Indiscretion….”Assault Case Is Nothing”

Whilst the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Paul Tawiah Quaye and his officers and men of the police service strive to carve a good name and reputation for the institution, others are simply not living up to expectation. One of such incidents that seems to have marred the image of the police involved the station officer of the Korle-Bu Police Station, Chief Inspector Nyamekye. The law enforcement officer does not understand why The Chronicle on Saturday should pursue a ‘human-interest’ story, in which a middle-aged man, Oko Devie nearly split the left ear of a 35 year old refuse collector, Kwaku Antw, at Korle-Gonno in Accra, because of Gp 10.00. This was when the Chronicle on Saturday went to the station to get the facts of the case and to confirm its veracity yesterday morning. The Investigator of the case, one Sergeant Bakana, led this reporter to his immediate boss, the station officer. Upon reaching his office, this reporter told Chief Inspector Nyamekye about his mission. To the amazement of this reporter, the station officer asked “are you following up on a mere assault case?” stressing that “an assault case is nothing.” Obviously surprised at his comment, this reporter was compelled to ask him whether he thinks an assault case is really nothing to report on, as he has sought to portray it, then chief inspector Nyamekye arrogantly said “but this not a big case,” He was not willing to give any information on the case. This compelled the reporter to seek audience with the District Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Apusiyine, and told him about the comments of the station officer. The commander was not the least enthused about the comments and had to apologise on the station officer’s behalf, since he according to him, an assault case is serious, and any issued should be treated with the merit it deserves, and not at the discretion of any individual policeman. On Saturday, January 16, 2010, between the hours of 7am and 7.30am, a misunderstanding ensured between Kwaku Antwi, the refuse attendant and native of Agona-Wiamaosi in the Ashanti region and Divie’s wife, who had gone to dump refuse at the site where Kwaku was in charge. It has been agreed upon by residents in the area for people to pay a small fee to the refuse attendant, to be used to maintain the dumping site. Kwaku said that he asked Divie’s wife to pay an amount of Gp10.00 but she declined. He thus seized the gallon she was going to use to fetch water from her. This resulted in a heated argument between the two which attracted people’s attention. In the process, Divie, who was standing nearby picked a stone from the ground and threw it at Kwaku, injuring his ear. Though Kwaku had wanted to retaliate, the people around separated them. Kwaku was seriously bleeding from the ear and took the case to the police station, where he was issued a medical form to go to the accident centre of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, where his ear was stitched and he was discharged. The next day, Divie was arrested and has since been granted bail and asked to report to the station daily. He was to go to court yesterday.