…Blow-By-Blow Account of How Peace Officers Roughed-Up Innocent Students
Barely seven (7) days after armed-to-teeth personnel from the police service unleashed brutalities on unarmed students resident in the Commonwealth Hall of the University Of Ghana, detail are emerging to show that the police exhibited the highest form of unprofessionalism and callousness in the manner in which they manhandled the vandals.
At a news conference held last Monday at the central court of the Commonwealth hall, to articulate their position on the current strike action by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), the Junior Common Room (JCR) President of the Hall, Nana Baning Darkwa cleared the air with an explanation that students never embarked on a demonstration as being bandied about by some media outlets and the police.
He recalled that the police; as the Public Order act stipulates were notified earlier enough and that what they were going to embark on was only a float not a demonstration.
He explained that, the police misconstrued what was supposed to be a Hepatitis B awareness float to commence their hall week celebration for a demonstration.
“Before we even got the response from the police on Saturday morning when students had already made preparations for the float, the police had already mounted barricades amidst water canons, tear gas, sprinklers and their crowd disperser vans at all entrances of the university just to prevent any public occurrences with the directive that they were a bit constraint due to the impending court case” NanaBaning underscored.
About one Hundred and twelve students of the Commonwealth Hall on Saturday were picked up by the Airport police at the Tetteh Quarshie for unlawful assembly.
According to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Greater Accra police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Freeman Tetteh, the march was in breach of the Public Order Act even though he accepted they had been notified by the students earlier. “But they were told that the date was inappropriate, but the students disregarded the police directive”.
Prior to that, the JCR president explained that, students who were picked up by the police at the Tetteh Quarshie roundabout were students who had gone out on their own and decided to walk.
“Assuming without admitting that these are people who have flouted the laws of Ghana, the executives of the JCR do not think the level of atrocities that were meted out to our students were appropriate. Now one of our students has been admitted at the police hospital due to a fracture he got as a result of the action by police.
Now I want to make a very strong clarification. Students of the commonwealth hall did not embark on a demonstration as speculated by some media houses. We embarked on a Hepatitis B awareness sensitization just to commemorate our hall week celebration”, Nana Baning stated strongly.