Some men from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service have assaulted a journalist at Bortianor over a misunderstanding in connection with a land that is under litigation.
Richard Adinkra, a former editor at Pink FM, narrating how things happened in an interview with GhanaWeb, said that after a neighbour, also a journalist, sold his land to one chief inspector from the CID Headquarters, he started playing the role of a good neighbour by looking out for him.
He explained that along the way, a certain woman, claiming to also be the owner of the land which now belonged to the Chief Inspector, repeatedly came there to claim ownership.
“The CID Chief Inspector started working on the land when a woman sent a report to Property Fraud that the man is using his uniform to collect her land from her. When they went to Property Fraud, they asked the woman to present her document. The Chief Inspector was able to present his documents but the woman wasn’t able to provide hers. Later, she sent the case to PIPS. They invited the woman but she didn’t go.
“So, just this Monday, the man came there and started working and then the woman brought some police officers. When they came, they stopped them. Yesterday, you know, he had already built these iron rods and people started stealing it so he decided to come and cover it with cement, that was when the woman brought in another group – they were four,” he said.
He continued that at the time, he was in the kitchen hoping to finish cooking and then go take a nap when the police invited him over but he turned it down.
The Managing Editor of the True Voice added that one of the police officials, upon hearing his conversation with his neighbour, rushed into his house, uninvited, grabbed him at the neck, and slapped him.
Without hesitation, he said he slapped the official back because, as he explained, he was on his property and he would not allow anybody come there without any introduction to assault him.
“When the officer turned, that’s when I was discussing with my neighbour that ‘this Auntie B, what land at all does she own that she always brings people to come to worry us.’ The police officer moved from the agitated land to my house and asked why did I say that, held my shirt and slapped me. And I slapped him back because I realized I was in my house and he did not show anyone any identification.
“So, there was a scuffle between us and I put him down. That was when the other police officers came and some of them stepped on my chest. One of them stepped on my neck. They subdued me, in fact, I was seriously beaten. So, I resisted because they wanted to take me,” he explained.
He explained that although he was really assaulted, all the other actions he was doing on the floor were antics because he wanted to draw the attention of his neighbours so that he could prevent any chance of the policemen telling lies or distorting the facts of the case.
“I had to retaliate because they were in my house. I had to do that because anytime they come to that place, they will come and harass me. At times, when they are coming to arrest land guards, they use my house as a route because it’s not a fenced house. And when they take money, they say, ‘The journalist who lives here is the one who called us’, meanwhile I have never had any such communication with the police,” he explained.
Richard Adinkra explained further that even though the owner of the land – the chief inspector, was there, they did not invite him or any of the workers present on the land, they did not invite any of them.
Instead, they came at him, wanting to take him to the national headquarters and that was when he resisted.
“It took about 30 minutes and in fact, I was mercilessly beaten but when we got to the police headquarters, they asked me and I told them that frankly, he attacked me first and I had to retaliate because he was on my property, uninvited and I was granted bail around 6:30 and asked to report on Friday. I told them I will no be able to come because I have lectures,” he added.
He also accused the police of intimidating him further when he mentioned that he was a journalist while writing his statement at the police station.
“When I was writing my statement, they asked of my profession and I told them I’m a journalist but I’m currently in school so I’m practising as a freelance. They tried to heckle me. ‘How can you say you are a journalist when you are in school?’,” he said.
As at the time of filing this story, attempts to get a reaction from the police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) were unsuccessful.