The East Legon Police Commander, DSP George Lysander Asare says he was not included in the formal security arrangements for the recent Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election although the constituency was under his command.
According to DSP Asare, he was not given any reason for his exclusion but was told he “shouldn’t worry.”
DSP Asare made the comments when he appeared before the commission investigating the Ayawaso violence, the Emile Short commission of inquiry, on Friday.
“I asked Chief Supt. Kwesi Ofori, the one in charge of Accra Regional operations as to why my name was not part of the taskforce group and he told me I shouldn’t worry….They [Accra Regional command] are in charge and even my car, they asked me to bring it to Accra region… [In] our work, you can’t challenge authority like that,” he said.
According to DSP George Lysander Asare, even though he was not included in the election task force, he was called from the Accra Regional Police Command to move in to assist in restoring calm around the residence of the NDC parliamentary candidate for the constituency when things were getting out of hand.
“Interestingly, I was going to cast my ballot at my polling station. And this is the first time that I voted in a by-election. In all the general elections, we do special voting and we know where we vote. We vote at Legon in Ayawaso West Wuogon but because it was the by-election, I was finding it difficult to locate my polling center. On my way to look for my polling center, I had a call from my regional commander who didn’t make me part of the exercise that he had heard that some shootings are going on around Bawaleshie closer to the NDC parliamentary candidate’s house so I should go and assist. So I quickly returned [to the police station] and came and mobilized men from the station who were not part of the operation to go there.”
“I mobilized men and went there with them and I even brought the situation under control,” he said.
DSP George Lysander Asare in his testimony said he saw at least 20 empty bullet shells upon arrival at the trouble scene.
He said he took photos of the shells and other wounded persons who he claimed had “small injuries.”
Part of his claim appears to contradict that of the National Security Minister, Kan Dapaah who said only six bullets were fired.
The East Legon Police Commander also revealed that the election task force made seven arrests.
While admitting that medical forms were not issued to the injured persons to seek medical attention, he said the National Security operations ensured the release of the suspects in his absence when he left the police station to cast his vote.
“The national security officer that came [DSP Azugu] made me aware that they will come for them [the suspects] and because we were also made to understand the whole exercise is being handled at the regional level, we knew the people will come for them. But I called the regional officer and informed him about the arrest and he came there and they were released but in my absence. I got to know of this when I came back,” he said.