The Commander of the National Security SWAT team, DSP Samuel Azugu has admitted that his officers acted unprofessionally in their handling of some citizens during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
Testifying before the Justice Emile Short commission, DSP Azugu said the officers under him did not properly conduct themselves in handling the opposition they faced from some persons they encountered at the residence of the NDC parliamentary candidate for the area.
The Emile Short Commission is investigating the violence that left several people injured in the by-election.
Citi News cameramen on the day of the election caught some masked and armed men manhandling some individuals.
But according to DSP Azugu, the persons were manhandled when they tried to resist arrest for pelting stones and moving aggressively at the SWAT team.
“The persons who were arrested were pelting stones and moving ferociously towards us,” he said.
He said some of the nine persons who were detained attempted to run away hence the harsh reaction from the SWAT team.
“It was not in a proper manner. We didn’t handle them [arrested persons] in a professional way, [the way] they were taught to…. Based on that, we have initiated disciplinary actions. Their idea of minimum force that we saw on TV was too much for all of us…. 9 persons were arrested. Some of them surrended peacefully and were taken to the vehicle but some decided to run away from lawful arrest and the boys pounced on them,” he said.
The Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery had told the Commission that the armed masked men were not deployed by the Police Service but DSP Azugu on Monday said he will be surprised if the police hierarchy denies the deployment of the SWAT team.
Contradictions from security chiefs unfortunate
A Security Analyst, Festus Aboagye last week expressed regret over the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the various security chiefs when they appeared separately before the Justice Emile Short commission of inquiry looking to the violence witnessed during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, he said one of the inconsistencies he noticed was the inability of the police officials to provide an accurate figure for the number of armed security forces who were present at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.