Parliament summons Defence, Interior ministers over Tamale military attacks on police
Parliament has summoned the Ministers of Defence and Interior to appear before the House and respond to Wednesday's military attack on some police officers in Tamale.
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Ocquaye who issued the order Thursday said the two ministers should appear next Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
The two ministers are expected to brief Parliament on the circumstances that led to the attack and to also tell the House measures being instituted to ensure that the matter does not repeat itself.
The order followed a request by the Minority Leader and the Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, for the ministers to be made to urgently appraise the House of the developments.
There was heightened tension between the military and the police in on Wednesday following an attack on some policemen at various duty points in the metropolis by a group of armed soldiers.
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The armed soldiers, who were on board three branded military vehicles, according to eyewitnesses, stormed the Northern Regional Police Headquarters and the Tamale Metro Police Command, both situated on the same compound, and fired warning shots.
The visibly angry soldiers, who were armed in war fashion, later attacked policemen stationed at various banks and other duty posts in and around the metropolis without any provocation.
Related: Military attacks police in Tamale
Speaking on the matter on the floor of Parliament Thursday, the Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu said the development is eroding “public and civil confidence in the security agencies to maintain law and order.”
"Indeed Mr Speaker the first of this happened in March 26 in Tamale around the Agric Development Bank road, and Mr Speaker I am inviting you so that the honourable minister for defence and the minister for interior will be obliged to come before this House to assure the public that we are safe and secure and in particular that the people of Tamale have no reason to want to leave in fear and panic and that Mr Speaker the breakdown of law and order can be a recipe for lawlessness."
On her part, the Deupty Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya, Ms Sarah Adwo Sarfo said
Why the soldiers attacked the police
Briefing Graphic Online on Wednesday, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr Emmanuel Holortu in charge of DOVVSU in Tamale said the said soldier, Eric Darko, a corporal with the Airforce, owns a taxicab, which he gave to one Alhassan Habib, a taxi driver.
Alhassan is said to have failed to account for a day’s sales of Gh₵35.
On May 1, 2018, Corporal Eric Darko traced the taxi driver to a Tamale suburb and allegedly assaulted him after some exchanges.
The matter was reported to DOVVSU and Corporal Darko was invited as part of investigations.
Accompanied by a military Lieutenant, Corporal Darko reported to the police on May 8 and was granted a police inquiry bail to report on Wednesday May 16, 2018.
Charged with assault
Corporal Darko and the complainant, Alhassan reported at DOVVSU, Wednesday morning.
After interrogation, the police investigator told Corporal Darko that he has been charged with assault and was to be processed for court today.
According to DSP Holortu, the Corporal Darko was subsequently put in handcuffs and he requested to be allowed to make a phone call but took to his heels in the process whilst still in handcuffs and was pursued by the police.
With the help of some civilians, the police managed to re-arrest him and whilst he was being escorted back to the police station, they came across a team of soldiers who were on guard duties at the Bank of Ghana premises.
The soldiers reportedly intervened and collected the keys to the handcuffs from the police and assaulted them.
They sent word to the barracks and more soldiers stormed town to assault the police officers.
The soldiers were said to have fired warning shots in the process.