21st JULY 2018
OCCUPYGHANA® PRESS STATEMENT
OCCUPYGHANA® CONDEMNS ASSAULT OF WOMAN BY POLICE AT MIDLAND SAVINGS AND LOANS COMPANY PREMISES
OccupyGhana®, like several Ghanaians, is horrified at the videos showing the senseless assault and battering of a woman simply on account of her alleged refusal to leave a banking hall, insisting on being paid her money.
We are gratified to read the statements issued by the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Bar Association on the matter, and we do not intend to repeat any of the matters they have stated.
We would however add other comments and observations on the matter, particularly on the role of the Midland Savings and Loans Company and its officers.
First, the Company, as the occupier of the property where the harm was caused to the lady, should not escape blame and sanctions. We believe that the Company owes a duty of care to the lady and all those who visit those premises, whether invited or permitted, to ensure their safety while on the premises. Thus even if the Company was not directly involved in the harm caused to the lady, it should be liable to compensate her for the harm caused to her while on its premises.
Second, and worse, it appears the lady was assaulted as a result of an instruction by the Company’s officers to the offending police officer to remove her from the premises. Then they either stood by while she was subjected to the beatings or only made half-hearted attempts to stop it. That suggests that the Company and its officers, at the very least, instigated, facilitated, encouraged or promoted the policeman’s offences. Without meaning to show the police how to do its work, we believe that the ongoing criminal investigations should also explore bringing abetment of crime charges against the Company and its officers.
Third, we are concerned that the underlying cause of this matter was the failure or refusal of the Company to return to a depositor, funds to which she was legitimately entitled. In the wake of the recent administrative and other actions and sanctions taken against banks and deposit-taking entities by the Bank of Ghana, involving the possible endangering and misuse of depositor-funds, we are extremely worried that the Company was unable to refund to a depositor, an amount that was less than GHS300. We believe that the Bank of Ghana ought to investigate the circumstances surrounding this. Maybe this criminal beating of the lady, masks or portends some financial danger where that Company is concerned.
Fourth, and as a general comment, we wonder whether poor Ghanaians are still being subjected to such gross human rights abuses by law enforcement agencies. It is important that servants of the state who are provided with the force of arms that are supplied with our tax monies primarily for our protection are continuously trained in the rudiments of respecting the human rights of the citizen.
Ghana is not and cannot be allowed to be a lawless nation.
Yours in service of God and Country.