Three persons, including a Nigerian, were arrested for allegedly carrying knives at the Black Star Square and the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) during preparations towards the swearing-in ceremony of Ghana’s new President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo -Addo, in Accra last Saturday.
While two of the suspects were arrested at the Black Star Square, the third suspect was arrested night at the AICC all on the night before the inauguration.
The police gave the names of the suspects as Kofi Adjei, 25, Iddrisu Alhassan, 34, both Ghanaians and Ibrahim Oluwatosin Ahmed, 42, a Nigerian.
Anti terrorism police
Briefing journalists, the ministries Divisional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Emmanuel Bossoh, said the suspects were being processed for court for allegedly possessing the offensive weapons.
He said on January 6, 2016, police personnel of the Anti-Terrorism Unit of the Ghana Police Service, who were on guard duties at the Black Star Square, arrested two of the suspects after observing their suspicious movements.
Mr Bossoh said during a search on Adjei and Alhassan, who were arrested separately about 8p.m., the police found sharp knives on them.
During interrogation, he said Adjei told the police that he was a kebab seller and that he was touring the Black Star Square to find a spot where he could mount his stand to sell his meat during the inauguration the next day.
However, the police said Adjei was unable to tell them where he normally sold his kebab.
The second suspect, Alhassan, is said to have told the police that he was rather the legitimate President who had to be sworn into office and not President Akufo-Addo.
Alhassan is said to have told the police that he was not happy with the new arrangement of swearing in an ‘illegitimate person’ as the President, hence his decision to come to the Black Star Square with the knife.
However, during investigations, Mr Bossoh said, some relatives and neighbours of Alhassan, who live at Agya Herbal, near Ofankor Barrier in Accra, told the police that Alhassan was not mentally sound.
“But we are not experts to tell if he is mentally sound or otherwise, we will go to court to ascertain his mental status,” said Mr Bossoh.
Mr Bossoh said personnel of the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Unit of the Ghana Police Service also arrested the third suspect, Ahmed, who claimed to be a cement block moulder at Abuja, in Nigeria, while he was loitering at the AICC, where media personnel and others were receiving accreditation for the inauguration ceremony.
When Ahmed was questioned, he is said to have told the police that he heard Ghana would swear in its new President on Saturday January 7 , 2017 and he wanted to be part of the historic event.
During interrogation, Mr Bossoh said Ahmed could not give tangible reasons for his presence at the AICC, while his passport, which was found on him, was last stamped in 2015.
Six more arrests
At the end of the inauguration ceremony last Saturday, the police said it recorded 10 different cases of theft at the venue of the ceremony, but arrested six persons for allegedly stealing mobile phones or engaging in pick pocketing at the Black Star Square.
In all, a total of 5,000 personnel from the police and the military were deployed in and around the Black Star Square to ensure security.