The director-general of operations of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Christian Tetteh Yohuno, says the police are in firm control to deal with the lawlessness by a section of society after the declaration of the results of the December 7 general election by the Electoral Commission (EC).
He said after the reports of attacks on people and destruction of properties countrywide reached the police, “immediately the Inspector General of Police directed that we send a wireless message to all regional commanders countrywide for them to get to know the trend of events”.
Speaking with the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview yesterday, Mr Yohuno said the Divisional and District Police commanders had also been instructed to put in place proactive measures to forestall further violence.
He listed some of the measures that had been taken countrywide as active patrol systems during the day and at night, snap checks and intelligence gathering.
According to him, the police had instituted operational preparedness before, during and after the elections, for which reason the police were already implementing measures to check post-election violence.
Target of attacks, arrests
He stated that preliminary investigations had indicated that the attacks were targeted at tollbooths as well as National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and Youth Employment Agency (YEA) offices, citing an attempted attack on the Damongo YEA office.
He said one suspect — the Assembly Member for Dumasua, near Sunyani, Mark Tetteh — who led the attack on the Fiapre tollbooth, was arrested and put before court but was granted court bail to reappear on December 20, 2016.
“Yesterday too at Sankore, there was an attack on three National Democratic Congress (NDC) youth. One Yaw Owusu, 22, sustained machete wounds and is on admission, while one of the two other persons who were attacked was treated and discharged,” he said.
He said the police command received a call from the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander “who said an NPP supporter by name Amos Asare, alias ‘Anointing’, 23, was arrested and was in custody at the Kukuom Police Station”.
Mr Yohuno said the suspect was being prepared to face court, while the others were being pursued by the police.
Touching on the incident which occurred at the Tema/Ashaiman tollbooth, he said due to the large number of youth involved, the police could not effect any immediate arrests but took pictures of some of the suspects who were being pursued.
NDC, NPP leadership commended
Mr Yohuno commended the leadership of the NDC and the NPP for giving their blessing to the arrest of their members who were found foul of the law.
“It is also gratifying to hear that both political parties have given their backing to the police to go ahead and arrest anybody who is found misbehaving or those who are taking the law into their own hands and vandalising and taking over state properties and also attacking fellow individuals,” he said.
He cautioned people who were taking the law into their own hands to desist from the act because anybody found engaging in lawless behaviour would be arrested and prosecuted.
Scale of attacks
Mr Yohuno told the Daily Graphic that although the police had anticipated some attacks after the elections, as they had occurred after previous elections, they did not envisage it was going to be on a big scale.
“We envisaged it but not at this magnitude due to the peaceful nature of the elections. We believed the aftermath was going to be better but did not anticipate that it will be so widespread and continuous as is happening,” he said.
He admitted that criminals took advantage of such situations, while hooligans used them to settle scores, adding that some people believed that it was their time to amass wealth through illegal means.