Assault on soldier: Government’s face-saving exercise collapses

The government’s effort to further placate the soldiers over the physical assault visited on the respected Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) on the Ashaiman Tulaku-Michel Camp highway by heavily armed elements of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) operating under the cloak of National Security, has collapsed with the interdiction of only one person.

WO1 Mashud Salia, a Physical Training Instructor (PTI) was assaulted by about 10 individuals driving a four-car convoy, however, a statement issued by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, said the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, had with immediate effect interdicted Gerald Nana Osei-Tutu alias “OT” over the assault.

The press statement issued today Tuesday, December 1, 2020, said his interdiction was after the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, instructed the National Security to do so. It is not clear why government kept silent on the others attackers who are reported to be party loyalists.

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Videos on the incident which have gone viral since Wednesday, November 25, 2020, show men on both sides of WO1 Mashud Salia’s Toyota Camry, forcefully dragging the well-built man out of his car, before dumping him in a silver-colored Toyota Land Cruiser.

But the government statement was silent on the role of the men, some of whom were seen with AK47 Assault rifles. Many other members of the deadly team, were said to be carrying pistols.

There was one of them who videotaped the assault all the way until WO1 Mashud Salia was dumped in the vehicle and driven to Michel Camp.

Osei Tutu and his boys, were in two Toyota V8 with registration numbers; AS 7249 -18 and VR 5571 – 19 respectively. The two other vehicles were Nissan Pickups with registration numbers BA 2871 – 17 and GS 7372 -20 respectively.

One of the V8 cars, had a loud blaring siren on.

Natioal Security Albert Kan-Dapaah and Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah
Natioal Security Albert Kan-Dapaah and Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah

Mr Osei-Tutu, is an officer of the Bureau of National Communications under the National Security.

The statement had said that “the President of the Republic and Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has learnt with dismay reports of an attack on a soldier by an official of the Bureau of National Communications of the National Security Council Secretariat, Gerard Nana Osei-Tutu.”

“Upon the President’s instruction, the Ministry responsible for National Security has interdicted, with immediate effect, the said Mr. Gerard Nana Osei-Tutu and has commenced a full investigation into the incident.”

The statement further added, “The military constitutes a key layer in the country’s security architecture. Any infringement on the institution and its officers will not be tolerated.”

The Herald’s information on him is that he was once sacked from the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) over allegation of bribery many years ago, but brought back into the service, upon the assumption of office of the NPP administration.

Meanwhile, the Military High Command, has vowed that the National Security personnel who assaulted the uniformed officer of the Ghana Armed Forces, will not be left off the hook.

GAF, in a statement issued on Monday, November 30, 2020, and signed by the Director of Public Relations, Colonel Aggrey Quarshie, strongly condemned the attack on one of its officers and promised to bring the perpetrators to book.

It said that investigations have already commenced to identify the persons who physically abused the officer whose name has been given as WO1 Mashud Salia.

It disclosed that a high-level meeting has been held over the matter and an apology has been issued from the Ministry of National Security.

“The attention of the Military High Command has been drawn to an unfortunate incident which occurred on Wednesday 25 November 2020 around Tulaku Junction, on the Ashaiman- Akosombo highway, in which a Warrant Officer (WOI Mashud Salia) was assaulted by some plain-clothed personnel of the National Signal Bureau.

This bizarre incident has been roundly condemned by both the Ministry of Defence and the Military High Command. The Sector Ministry of National Security has also, in a similar vein, condemned the actions of the personnel involved.

“As a first step toward redressing the problem, the Deputy National Security Minister, Hon Henry Quartey and the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lt Gen OB Akwa, have at an emergency durbar conveyed the sentiment of the two Ministries and rendered an unqualified apology to the said Warrant Officer and by extension to the Ghana Armed Forces.

“This durbar was held at Michel Camp, Tema on Saturday 28 November 2020 with troops of 1 Bn. All ranks have been assured that the matter is being thoroughly investigated and anyone found culpable would be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

The Ghana Armed Forces also urged its officers to remain calm and professional in the execution of their duties.

“It’s reiterated that the ongoing investigations will be pursued vigorously and sanctions meted out as appropriate. In the meantime, All Ranks have been urged to exhibit their usual sense of professionalism and tackle all duties with the same level of maturity.”

Source: The Herald

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