JoyNews has written to the Inspector General of the Ghana Police Service (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, seeking information on the extent of investigations in the case of the missing observer.
The station wants to be furnished with information on the extent of the investigation and the outcome of the investigations four years after the incident happened.
The request to the IGP follows the Attorney General’s direction to JoyNews to demand the police the extent of investigations and the outcome of it after the station sent an RTI request to the Attorney General about a month ago.
On June 24, 2019, 28-year-old Ghanaian fisheries observer, Emmanuel Essien, was on board the Chinese trawler, Jin Hao 608, when he captured video of the crew engaging in Saiko, the illegal transfer of fish from a trawler to a large canoe.
Two weeks later, on July 5, 2019, Mr Essien went missing while working on the Meng Xin 15 vessel. Before getting onboard the Meng Xin 15 vessel, the 28-year-old wrote a statement to the police to investigate the crew on the JinHao 608 vessel for engaging in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices.
Essien’s family, including a young daughter and son, are struggling to make sense of the disappearance.
The family has on numerous occasions been calling on government to help them find their relative.
After three years, the Marine Police Division of the Ghana Police Service has no information on Essien’s whereabouts or what led to his disappearance. Initial police reports said there were no signs of a crime. Essien’s evidence could have meant a $1 million fine for the vessel’s captain.
In a media encounter on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah indicated that the police have finally concluded the probe into the matter and some new suspects have emerged.
“I wrote a letter under my signature to the IGP, and they have responded. The Tema police have completed their investigations, and they have sent a duplicate case docket to the Attorney-General for study and advice.
“The AG upon study directed that they need to do further interrogation of three persons, Isaac Cudjoe, Dziwornu Ahabile and Antony Asiedu.
“They have done the further interrogation and have submitted this update to the Attorney-General and in about three weeks, the Attorney-General will come out with its final advice on this docket,” he said.
Consequent to this, JoyNews sent a Right To Information (RTI) request to the Attorney General seeking information on the status of investigations of Emmanuel Essien, a fisheries observer, who went missing.
Godfred Yeboah Dame, in his response, said his office forwarded its advice to the police together with the docket and has therefore completed its work in respect of the said case since November 2021.
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