A security expert following the bizarre story of some three kidnapped ladies in Takoradi has faulted the police for not being proactive.
Justine Bayor, a Security and Conflict Resolution Analyst, said the failure of the police to draw out public support to finding the three ladies is the reason they remain missing after five months.
“We were expecting the police to be proactive by calling on the public to come and volunteer information,” he said on current affairs programme, PM Express, on MultiTV.
Police in Takoradi in the Western Region say although they have been trying to get a key suspect in the kidnapping case to disclose the whereabouts of the girls, they have made little progress.
Commander Redeemer Vincent Dedzo told Joy News that the suspect, Samuel Wilson Udoterg – a Nigerian – who has been in their custody for weeks, refused to reveal the exact location of the girls and there is nothing the they 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,” the police commander stated.
Photo: The three girls, Ruth Quayson, Mantsebea Koranchie and Priscilla Bentum, were among seven girls that were kidnapped by the Samuel last year.
The police have, however, failed to get the suspect who broke jail once and has been re-arrested to talk, accusing him instead 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’s handling the case, but Commander said such criticisms were unfortunate.
Speaking on PM Express on Tuesday evening, the Justine Bayor said whatever strategy the police had to find the girls should have included getting the support of the public.
“It does not necessarily need to be about publishing the pictures of the people. But they could have easily gone on the radio or the television station to ask for support from the public and based on the kind of information they get from the public, they can then decide what steps to take next,” he said.
He said five months is too long for three girls to go missing without a full blown out campaign to bring them back.
“You need to act swiftly…as far as I am concerned…the police should even be able to inform us and keep the public updated about what they are doing, without even divulging any kind of information,” he said.
Vice Chairman of Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee, Collins Owusu Amankwah, who was also on the show said his Committee has always taken interest in such issues, especially because it borders on the security of Ghanaians.
“We do invite police to furnish the committee especially when there are issues and how far they have gone with the issues. So kidnapping as a crime will definitely be featured prominently when we summon police high command,” he revealed.
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.