How the police frustrated Chronicle reporters from accessing information

Posted: August 19, 2010 in Crime

Efforts by The Chronicle reporters to access the police report, as part of its investigations into the alleged involvement of Hon. Atta Akyea, Member of Parliament for Akim Abuakwa South, in the GH¢231,081.00 (¢2.3 billion) scandal,  was met with  all kinds of frustrations to  apparently deter us from gathering   information on the said case.Our reporter in Sunyani, Michaeal Boateng, who first got hint of the case, tried his possible best to get the relevant police report on the case, but all to no avail, as all his calls and text messages to Supt. William Mawusi, at the Commercial Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service, were not answered.

“I made frantic efforts to reach Supt. Mawusi to ascertain the facts of the case, but was not successful.

For the calls that he answered, he pretended not to hear me clearly and promised to get back to me, but he never did. All the text messages that I sent to him were also not answered,” explained Michael Boateng.

After a directive from my Editor, I personally called on Supt. Mawusi at his office, to ascertain the facts of the case. Two other reporters, Stephen Odoi-Larbi and Nathaniel Yankson, subsequently went to Supt. Mawusi’s office last Thursday at 15:30 GMT.

Luckily, they met Supt. Mawusi in his office, but they were told to wait at the reception for some few minutes, to enable their host attend to some visitors who had earlier called on him.

For close to two hours, the reporters did not hear from Supt. Mawusi, until about 16:40 GMT, when a lady who identified herself as his Secretary came and informed them that her boss was in a meeting in a different office, and that the reporters could only get to speak with him at 17:00 GMT, but only on phone.

This new arrangement sounded strange to us, so we communicated our ordeal to the Editor, who instructed that we go back to the office and comply with the new directive given by the Police capo.

At 17:05 GMT, our reporters called Supt. Mawusi as directed by him but again were told to call back, as he was still in a meeting.

Thirty minutes later, we called again, and we were informed that he was on the phone with his boss, and that he would get back to us when he was done.

It looked like Supt. Mawusi was trying his possible best to frustrate us. So we continued to wait, but the promised call from Supt. Mawusi never came.

We made frantic efforts to get him during the weekend, but it proved futile.  His cell phone was either switched off or out of coverage area.

The said case, concerning the alleged GH¢231,081.00 scandal was lodged at the Commercial Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service in Accra, some three months ago by J. Adom Limited, former client of Lawyer Atta Akyea, who doubles as Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Abuakwa South Constituency.

A source close to the paper said the case was first handled by one Chief Supt. Tiwaa, who handed over to Supt. William Mawusi, when she was leaving for peace keeping operations abroad.

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