General News of Monday, 17 December 2018
Universal Hall residents of the Koforidua Technical University have indicated that the police on Friday, 15 December stormed their hostels to brutalise them for no reason.
A statement issued by Anderson Enoch Kweku, the Public Relations Officer of the Hall, who was also brutalised, alleged that the police invaded individual rooms of the students and tasered them while assaulting them with fan belts, axes, catapults, loaded guns and other sophisticated weapons before arresting them.
“We were all brutally beaten up even without resisting arrest.”
“On Friday morning, around 4 am, fully armed police officers numbered about 60, including the SWAT Team, came to our hostel while we were preparing for examination at 9 am. The armed officers led by DSP Kartey Otumi (Eastern Regional Police Operations Commander) heartlessly came to arrest us like hardened criminals while some of us were having a morning devotion, some studying and the rest sleeping. The police invaded our individual rooms using electric shockers, fan belts, axes, catapults, loaded guns and other sophisticated weapons to arrest us. We were all brutally beaten up even without resisting arrest. Majority of us were in boxer shorts, some bare-chested, bare-footed and we were all handcuffed and marched from our hostel to the regional office, about 45-minutes’ walk. At a point of the journey, we were asked to trot to the destination still with the plastic handcuffs on.
“The real barbarism started when we finally got to the forecourt of the police station. While handcuffed at our backs, we were asked to roll from one point to another and backwards. We were made to carry logs, do squats, lie on the ground facing the sun and so on. The incident was so ugly to the extent that a member was under a health attack and sought help. When we asked the policemen to provide the boy with water, what one of them could say was, ‘He no be wona family member’ – to wit (he is not a member of our family). They claimed the boy was only acting, so no one was going to help him. One hostel member carried the guy into the police sick bay and one sad thing was that they asked us to pay first before any treatment could be made. Also, before anyone could go and urinate, we had to do about 20 push-ups, else it had to be done in our boxers,” the statement said.
“We went through all these painful punishments and more until our Dean of Students and the leadership of our institution (Koforidua Technical University) came to our rescue. We were forced and threatened with their sophisticated weapons to sign bonds of good conduct. Before they discharged us, one of us asked a lady CID what we did wrong to deserve all we went through and what she said was that, we attacked a police patrol car in front of Lumen Pub, opposite the Vineyard hostel, which was a false allegation.
“Everyone was astonished because we had now come to know that the police had no reason for their actions. None of us went there to do such a thing. One thing about our hostel is unity and respect for command. We move not as a hall until our hall representative has commanded us to do so. Honestly, the charge against us was a blatant lie. We feel insecure now because the same people supposed to protect us are now attacking us and not accepting their mistakes but rather covering up with lies. We are emotionally, physically, psychologically traumatised such that we are unable to prepare for the remaining exams. As a result of the incident, majority of us couldn’t write the paper we had that very morning at 9 am.”