I was not aware of SWAT operation at Ayawaso - IGP

BY: Graphic.com.gh
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu has said he was not aware of the deployment of a SWAT team of National Security operatives during the Ayawaso-West-Wuogon by-election.

Appearing before the Justice Emile Short Commission on its 10th day of sitting on Tuesday, Mr Asante-Apeatu said he was not briefed about the operation by National Security operatives around the private residence of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate, Mr Delali Kwasi Brempong on the day of the by-election.

“I did not know about it,” Mr Asante-Apeatu told the Commission when asked if his office had prior knowledge about the operations of the masked men on the said day.

Corroborating earlier testimonies before the commission by some police officers that they were equally not aware of the operation even though there was evidence that the SWAT team patrolled the constituency for some time on the day of the election before the incident, Mr Asante-Apeatu said, "yes, there is a problem [that we were not aware], I am not disputing the fact that my regional commanders and others didn't know about this, I also did not know about this operation, so I side with them."

Admitting that National Security operatives have a role to play in internal security, the Inspector General of Police said it should be possible for all intelligent agencies in the country to work together.

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However, Mr Asante-Apeatu told the commission that the National Security Council had information that the NDC had put thugs in buses from the north and were going to be deployed at Ayawaso during the by-election to cause confusion.

The National Security has said it had intelligence that the NDC candidate had stockpiled arms in his private residence on the day of the election on January 31, 2019 and, therefore, stormed his residence which is situated close to the La-Bawaleshie polling centre on the day of the poll.

The SWAT team fired at a crowd that had gathered in front of the candidate’s house and had prevented them [SWAT] from entering the residence.

The shooting temporarily disrupted the by-election at the polling station.