The Western Regional Police say they have tried unsuccessfully to get a suspected kidnapper to disclose the whereabouts of some teenage girls he has abducted.
According to Commander, Redeemer Vincent Dedzo, the suspect, Samuel Wilson Udoterg – a Nigerian – who has been in their custody for weeks, has until now refused to reveal the exact location of the girls and there is nothing the police can do about it.
“We have tried all means to talk to him. In the initial stages, he took us to Kasoa [Central region suburb] and we combed the whole of Kasoa yet he could not lead us to where the victims are.
“He is not even ready to talk. He will tell you he doesn’t know where the victims are,” Dedzo told Gifty Andoh Appiah on The Pulse, Tuesday.
His admission comes just after the Gender Minister, Cynthia Morrison, said in an interview with Joy News that the police are close to finding the girls.
About seven girls, including Ruth Quayeson and Mantsebea Koranche where kidnapped in Takoradi last year.
Police followed to arrest the suspect after their parents staged a protest to register their displeasure over how the case had been since the disappearance of their daughters was reported to them.
The police have, however, failed to get the suspect who broke jail once and has been re-arrested to talk, accusing him of leading them on a wild goose chase at Kasoa.
Civil society groups, gender activists and some lawyers have questioned the attitude of the police at handling the issue.
Dedzo in response questioned what else the critics want them to do after the suspect refused to tell them the truth about the whereabouts of the girls.
Some have described the police as simply incompetent, a criticism Mr. Dedzo disagrees with.
DCOP Redeemer Vincent Dedzo is Western Regional Police Commander
“That is the wrong perception about what we are doing. You must use tactics; when the person is not talking what can we do? You cannot subject him to inhumane treatment because the laws of human rights do not allow a lot of things to be done.
“I don’t even know what they want us to do apart from going by the procedural processes and doing what is right as professionals,” he added.
According to him, the police are yet to circulate the photographs of the teenage girls to enable the public to assist them in finding the missing girls.
He explained that “it is important to have something to put your hands on before you circulate photographs. We must consider the trauma and stigma associated with these things so it is not good to put the pictures out like that.”
“We have to see to it that the appropriate things are done before some of these things are done,” he argued.
Upon further questioning, however, Mr. Dedzo said the police will circulate the photographs on Wednesday.
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.