Damongo: How “Operation Calm Life” Highway Patrol Team mercilessly flogged a civilian, extorted Ghc200

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A civilian has been severely flogged by “Operation Calm Life” highway patrol team plying the Damongo to Sawla road.

The men in black, numbering Seven whipped the hell out of the victim, Mohammed Osman, after he lamented in silence that the patrol team van was wrongly parked.

He received the lashing of his life until he sustained injuries on his back. The action of the police has since received wide condemnation from discerning members of the public with many calling for justice to be served the victim.

The incident happened in Damongo township Friday Morning between the hours of 9:00am and 10:00am, when the victim was riding from Canteen, a suburb of Damongo in the West Gonja District of Northern Ghana to his workshop.

Low spirited Mohammed, a well know glass manufacturer in Damongo narrated his ordeal on PAD FM in an interview. He explained that on that faithful day, he was on a motorbike to his workshop with one of his workers, Nuhu Rauf, who was the pillion rider.

On reaching a T- junction few meters away from the District CHRAJ office, he noticed that the police patrol van was parked wrongly, almost across the junction with the tendency of causing mischances. Concerned Mohammed spoke in a whisper to his pillion rider that, the police van was wrongly parked considering that the said spot was a narrow junction.

The police who misinterpreted the whispers of Mohammed to mean he was trying to teach them how to park, commanded him to stop and demanded to know what he was saying. Startled mohammed spurred his way to his workshop. But the infuriated police followed him up to his workshop few meters away from the scene and flogged him to injuries with sizable rods.

Mohammed who spoke in Dagaare said, “Yesterday in the morning, whilst I was returning from Canteen between the hours of 9am and 10am...On reaching the junction where the women sell maize, I noticed it would be difficult to negotiate my way through, because a police van was parked at the curve….I told my worker that where the van was parked was not good and if one does not ride carefully, it could lead to an accident. We stopped whilst other cyclist maneuvered their way through a narrow space. I was still pointing my fingers to the wrongly parked car. When the road was a bit clear, I also attempted negotiating my way through the narrow space. The police shouted on me to stop and ask what I was saying from afar. Frightened, I replied that I was not saying ‘anything’…I spurred my way through to my workshop….

“They followed me up to my workshop and started flogging me with sticks. They ask what I was saying. I told them I was complaining to my friend that the van was not well parked. They asked whether I was the one to teach them the law and how to park. They commanded me to remove my safety boot and bungled me to the police station,” he narrated.

He further chronicled that, on getting to the police station, he was detained for almost two hours. The NPP chairman, Nana Kwame, and the witness who was the pillion rider, Nuhu Rauf, immediately moved to the police station to intervene.

The police explained to the chairman that the victim insulted the police officers, a position he sharply debunked.

After a close door meeting, the police charge office took an amount of Gh200 before Mohammed was released.

Nuhu revealed that the incident, which was witnessed by over 50 people had the police passing comments to the effect that the people of Damongo have noted that they are very “stubborn.” And that they were aware that, people are hiding under chieftaincy to fuel disturbances in the town…That they the police were waiting for the day such people would try such nonsense of sparking chieftaincy conflict and they would show the people their ‘meter’ insofar as policing is concerned.

When contacted, the District crime officer, S.S. Gbeve said the matter has not been brought to his attention. He directed that the station officer should be contacted.

The station officer however, declined comments on the matter and indicated that his boss, the District Police Commander was the best person to respond to the matter. Efforts to get the District police commander to comment on the development at the time of filing this story has proved fertile.

Mohammed said all he prays for is for the perpetrators to be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.

It would be recalled that a business man, Jyimah Ibrahim, popularly known as Kashinteng was brutalised in a similar fashion last three months by some armed military men currently standing police trial in Tamale.

“Operation Calm Life” was launched on Monday February 5, 2018, in the Northern Region to combat criminal activities. About 300 security personnel were drawn from all the law enforcement agencies for the initiative.

Source: Ananpansah B. Abraham

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