The Tema Regional Police Command has denied claims that #FixTheCountry convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, donated food to suspects locked up at the Ashaiman Police Station.
On Sunday, the #FixTheCountry Movement were at the station to donate food items and toiletries.
But according to Mr Barker-Vormawor, he was denied access by the Police, due to an ‘order from above’.
Speaking to the press over the weekend, he noted that contrary to the claims by the Police, he and his colleagues had earlier published their intention to visit the inmates, and, therefore, the claim by the Police that they are not aware of his coming, is false.
“A lot of them don’t have families to visit them, so we have come together to make a donation of some food items and toiletries which from my experience a lot of inmates lack.
“Now the Police have informed us informally because we have not yet made the presentation that if we make the presentation they won’t give it out. All we know is that visiting hours are between 4 to 6 pm, so we are waiting till 4 to 6 pm so that if we present it and they refuse it, then we go home”.
The Police have however given a different account.
In a press statement signed by Head of Public Affairs in Tema, Chief Inspector Stella Dede Dzakpasu, the Police revealed that Mr Barker-Vormawor was informed through his lawyers his initiative was against Police Standard Operating Procedure (SoP), therefore, was advised to refrain from carrying out the said donation.
According to the Police, “in spite of the notice given him, he showed up at the Police Station in the company of some other individuals and a musical band with the obvious intention still of making the donation and creating unnecessary drama.”
The convener’s action, the Police noted, left them no choice but to refuse him the opportunity.
“After loitering at the station for a while amidst noise making and inconveniencing other persons at the station, he and his group finally dispersed.”
For this reason, the Police have refuted reports that the #FixTheCountry movement made the said donation and was later called to come back for them.
The Police says it is unaware of the motives behind Mr Barker-Vormawor’s recent action as “the feeding of suspects in custody is hardly an enterprise he can sustain even for more than a day.”
The Police have urged the public to disregard such reports.
Meanwhile, the Police have explained that feeding of persons in police custody is the responsibility of the government and it is a responsibility that is discharged according to law and laid down procedures.
“However, due to our cultural sensitivities and arrangements, families of suspects are usually allowed to provide food to them from time to time,” it added.
According to the Service, the food brought to suspects in custody are subjected to stringent safety and security protocols before being accepted and given for consumption.
This is because the “Police are held accountable for whatever happens to persons in our custody.”
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