The Upper West Regional Branch of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has urged authorities in the region to institute a high powered Committee of Enquiry into events that led to the death of Bashirudeen Said, a student of Wa Polytechnic.

Master Said died on March 26.

Speaking at a news conference at Wa, the Community Relations Officer of the Upper West GBA, Mr Edward Amadu Mumuni, said the people of Wa and the region as a whole were being subjected to a level of police brutalities unprecedented and unknown in other parts of the country.

He said: “The perception the general public in the region have about the police is that there is a different law in Wa pertaining to traffic regulations than obtains in other parts of Ghana.”

In the latest incident, Bashirudeen was allegedly carrying his girl friend on a motorbike as pillion when some policemen on patrol ordered him to stop for apparently not wearing a crash helmet.

He slowed down but refused to stop, so a policeman pushed him and the pillion into the gutter. He fell, broke his neck and died instantly while the pillion was rendered unconscious.

Recounting some of the recent deaths from police brutalities on motor bike riders in Wa, Mr Mumuni said last year a student of the Wa campus of the University of Development Studies, riding a motorbike, was pursued by the police using their “Black Maria” and in an attempt to forcibly compel him to stop, the student was pushed into a gutter leading to his death.

On January, 2005 policemen on duty at the Wa traffic lights allegedly shot a young man at point blank range, killing him instantly for apparently not wearing a crash helmet and that led to public outcry and rioting in the town.

To quell the outcry, a committee was set up but nothing more was heard of the committee and there is no evidence that charges were laid against the perpetrators of the offence.

“The behaviour of the police in the region is making them enemies of the people rather than their protectors and this does not augur well for security in the region.”

They said the attitude of the police towards the general public was brutal and oppressive and they behaved like they are an “occupation force”.

The association also took issue with the continued presence of military personnel in Wa and called on the authorities to rationalize and justify their presence or otherwise ask for their withdrawal to their mother units elsewhere in the country.

The lawyers appealed to the youth of the area and the general public to remain calm whilst awaiting the response of the authorities on the matter.

Source: GNA


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