BY PHILIP ANTOH | firstname.lastname@example.org
THE COMMANDER at the Accra Railway Police Station, DSP Emmanuel Ofori Asante, has denied an allegation levelled against him by petty traders in the CMB area that he has taken GH₡10,000.00 from a shop owner to sack them from operating in the area.
According to DSP Asante, there has not been any such transaction, explaining that where the women sell their wares is unsuitable because of the risk to their lives from vehicular movements.
“Also, the congestion in the area makes emergency services very difficult to perform. When there is a fire outbreak the fire service finds it difficult getting access to the place. The police also find it difficult to operate in the wake of criminal acts,” he said.
He also denied the allegation that he collected GH¢30.00 each from traders he had detained before releasing them, but maintained that he detained some traders for selling at authorised place, which is criminal under section 287 of the Criminal Act of 1960 (Act 29).
He said any time he detained the traders, he cautioned them and released them, “so I don’t know where this GH¢30.00 thing is coming from. I want to say it here that I didn’t take any money from anybody but our actions were to ensure sanity in the area.”
DSP Asante, who visited the offices of the DAILY HERITAGE last Friday in the company of two of his officers, said “trading activities in National Investment Bank area prevent free flow of vehicles, causing human and vehicular traffic during the prime time of the day, hence the need to do something about the situation.”
The police commander said the attempt to evict the traders was a decision taken by the Municipal security committee, basing the decision on the havoc created with regard to the risk to lives, the congestion and the “unimaginable” filth the traders generated in the area.
DSP Asante said the menace in the Railways and CMB area is a national social problem but because some people benefit from it, anyone who attempts to tackle it becomes an enemy.
He said the traders themselves, buyers, traders and drivers unions, even politicians who make political capital out of it against their opponents and a host of other stakeholders are the beneficiaries, but was quick to add that “the same stakeholders must be the ones to help solve the problem”.
He appealed to the DAILY HERITAGE and other media outlets to use their space to educate traders in general to respect the rules of not selling at unauthorised places like pavements.
It would be recalled that on Thursday, April 25, 2019, the DAILY HERITAGE published a front page story titled ‘CMB traders call for Railway Police Commander’s head, Accuse him of constant harassment’. The story contained traders’ allegations against the commander, to the extent that DSP Asante had been paid by a shop owner to evict the traders and that he had also been using harassment as a weapon to extort money from them.