The Director of Operation at the Ghana Police Service has denied knowledge of the police SWAT vehicle and the masked men who occupied it on the day of the Ayawaso by-election as known to the Ghana Police Service.
“I did not know who the masked men were. I will be surprised that they were members of the SWAT team. That vehicle is not part of those under my command and the police have never used that vehicle before.” he said.
DCOP George Alex Mensah’s testimony at the Emile Short Commission Friday is in sharp contrast to those of the National Security chiefs who appeared before the same Commission on Thursday claiming that the said vehicle belongs to the Police SWAT team and the men occupying it were members of the National Security.
According to the Director of Operation for the police service, anytime the police require the services of other agency such as the military for electoral purpose, the police must make the request and demonstrate why they want their service and be directly responsible for their actions.
“The police will have the responsibility for the action and inactions of the military if they are called in.”
However, in the case of the Ayawaso by-elections, he got to know of the masked men from media reports. “I heard on air they are from the National Security.”
DCOP George Alex Mensah insists that as far as the police administration is concerned, “No other unit took part in the policing of the elections.”
The Emile Short-led Commission is investigating the circumstances leading to violent clashes at La Bawaleshie in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in the early hours of January 31.
Armed men stormed the residence of the NDC candidate, Delali Brempong.
The Minister of State in charge of National Security has said the men were deployed on intelligence that arms were being stockpiled in the house.
He, however, admitted before the Commission of Inquiry on Thursday that the operatives did not succeed in retrieving any arms.