Tamale: Irate soldiers descend on police
Some soldiers in the Tamale metropolis on Wednesday descended on police personnel and beat them for arresting their colleague following a complaint of assault.
Packed in three military vehicles and armed, the soldiers moved to town from their base, and unleashed their anger on any police officer who was spotted in town.
They moved to various banks in the Tamale metropolis and assaulted police personnel who were on duty, reports Graphic Online's Northern Region correspondent, Samuel Duodu.
They even went to the Northern Regional Police Commander's residence and assaulted a policeman on duty.
Duodu reported that the “soldiers armed to the teeth in three military vehicles went around the various banks in the Tamale metropolis to assault policemen on duty at the various points.”
“The incident started from the Bank of Ghana premises where the angry soldiers assaulted the policemen. They later moved to the ADB Bank and assaulted the policeman on duty there," he said.
The policeman on guard duty at the main branch of the ADB Bank was also beaten up and sustained a head injury. He was rushed to the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH).
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According to Duodu, a total of eight police officers were attacked in the process.
One of the injured police officers
The soldiers were reportedly angry because, a police investigator with the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), following a complaint of assault, which he was investigating had arrested the suspect [soldier], put him in handcuffs and was processing him for court.
When word went round the military barracks about the incident, the soldiers mobilised their colleagues and stormed town to avenge the said arrest.
According to our reporter, the incident has created a tension in Tamale as some police officers are arming themselves to face the soldiers in the attack said to have happened around 1pm on Wednesday.
The Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has convened an emergency security meeting following the incident.
Why the soldiers attacked the police
Briefing Graphic Online, 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, 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 the driver after some exchanges and an explanation that he was not working that day because it was a holiday.
The matter was reported to DOVVSU and Corporal Darko was invited as part of investigations.
Accompanied by a 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.