The Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Patrick Adusei Sarpong has said its untrue claims made by the East Legon District Police Commander insisting that he was side-lined in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election police operation.
Chairman of the AWW Commission of Inquiry, Justice Emile Short had asked him whether he heard DSP George Lysander Asare’s testimony that he was side-lined, when he took his turn to appear before the Commission, but he retorted “Yes my Lord, but that is not true.”
DCOP Patrick Adusei Sarpong also testified that all district commanders in the region were informed to be present on the day of the election as well as come along with their pick-up vehicles.
His testimony is in sharp contrast with that of DSP George Lysander Asare’s when he appeared before the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry investigating the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence last Friday.
Below are excerpts of the questions and responses
Emile Short: East Legon District Commander was given an assignment. He was supposed to be part of the electoral taskforce, right?
DCOP Sarpong: That’s right; to meet the patrol.
Emile Short: And he was supposed to bring his vehicle with his driver?
DCOP Sarpong: That’s so. It wasn’t him alone. It was all the districts in Accra. [They] were sent copies of signals that they should bring or release their pick-ups for election duties
Emile Short: And you have heard his testimony that he was side-lined?
DCOP Sarpong: Yes my Lord, but that is not true.
Emile Short: Since then, have you queried him why he did not respond to your message? You said you sent him a WhatsApp message to which you got no response, right?
DCOP Sarpong: Yes Mr Chairman
Emile Short: And you also stated here in your evidence that his evidence that he was side-lined isn’t correct. Since then have you had any communication with him why he did not respond to your WhatsApp message and also his testimony before us that he was side-lined by you the regional commander?
DCOP Sarpong: Yes, Mr Chairman, the next day when the election was going on and he reported the incident to me, I told him that he should be there to take care of the situation because it fell within his command so he should take care. If he had come, we would have deployed him but since I left before his arrival, when he reported the incident to me I told him to take care of the situation
Emile Short: Have you queried him and also have you found out from him why he stated before us that he wasn’t included
DCOP Sarpong: I haven’t met him to discuss anything with him.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: You said that you sent a message to DSP George Asare to report at 0500 hours to lead a patrol?
DCOP Sarpong: Yes Mr Chairman.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: And this was at 9:57 am or pm?
DCOP Sarpong: pm.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: And to send a vehicle of the district command?
DCOP Sarpong: Yes Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman let me put in this document which was a message sent to all the divisional, district and unit commanders to bring in their pick-ups for the operation so it was not to him alone [but] to all the divisional, unit and district commanders.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: And was this order before the SMS message you sent?
DCOP Sarpong: Yes, this was the order and this was the follow up.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: Okay, I wanted to check whether he received the order and didn’t show up because you said he didn’t respond.
DCOP Sarpong: There was no response but one other officer responded.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: You said when you were on your way to East Legon after you heard of the incident, you contacted the district commander?
DCOP Sarpong: He called me.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: He called you and he said he was on his way to the hospital with his child?
DCOP Sarpong: Yes, Mr Chairman.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: Is this normal procedure that when there is a crisis in a place the commander of the place will have the time off to pursue domestic obligations?
DCOP Sarpong: Mr Chairman when I got there I met the divisional commander so I wouldn’t know whether he had taken permission from the divisional commander.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: But is this normal procedure in a crisis?
DCOP Sarpong: That isn’t.
Prof Mensah-Bonsu: But you did not query the situation?
DCOP Sarpong: Because I met the divisional commander I thought he might have been in contact with him because the divisional commander was in the district commander’s office.