The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has dismissed media reports suggesting that three military officers have been arrested over a robbery incident at Amasaman in Accra.
In a statement, the Forces said the report is misleading because police have “not made such an arrest and that allegation of robbery has not been established” against the soldiers whose images were used in the publication of the story.
“GAF wishes to state categorically that the Police have not made such an arrest. Though pictures of some three soldiers were depicted alongside the said story, the allegation of robbery has not been established against them.”
“It is therefore premature for such conclusions to be drawn and for their pictures to have been put in the public domain”, the release mentioned.
Excerpts of the military statement:
“The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has monitored a misleading story in the Thursday 16 June 2022 edition of The Chronicle, with a banner headline falsely stating that three soldiers have been arrested by the Amasaman Police for robbery on Saturday 4 June 2022.
GAF wishes to state categorically that the Police have not made such an arrest. Though pictures of some three soldiers were depicted alongside the said story, the allegation of robbery has not been established against them.
It is therefore premature for such conclusions to be drawn and for their pictures to have been put in the public domain.
It must be placed on record that following a complaint made by a Nigerian national and also based on a request by the Amasaman Police, GAF, through a picture, was able to identify one soldier and subsequently two colleagues who happened to be at Amasaman on the said date.
They were invited by the Military Police on Friday 10 June 2022, to assist in investigations into an initial claim of seizure of phones, extortion and forced entry into a premise at Nsakina.
Based on this, the Military Police and Civil Police commenced a joint investigation into the allegations.
It is in view of this that the Military Police escorted the three soldiers to the Amasaman Police Station, where they were compelled to avail themselves for their photographs to be taken as part of a routine investigation process.
However, these pictures have been released to The Chronicle and into the public domain alleging they were engaged in robbery when that fact has not been established.
From preliminary checks by the Military Police, the soldiers, one of whom has relatives in the area prone to robbers, claimed they monitored suspicious movements in a particular house while on a visit.
They proceeded to the house and were ushered in willingly by an occupant. Upon entry, they noticed some Nigerians busily working on laptops.
The leader of the group denied involvement in cyber fraud or any criminal activity, but expressed readiness to report any such acts to the security services, and therefore requested the mobile number of one of the soldiers.
The allegation that the soldiers scaled a wall to seize mobile phones made by the Nigerian and as to whether the soldiers really extorted monies have been refuted by the soldiers.
Nonetheless, these allegations are being jointly investigated by the Military Police and the Civil Police and the truth is yet to be ascertained.
It is therefore unclear the motive of the haste in releasing such information with pictures into the public domain, on a yet-to-be-determined matter.
The Ghana Armed Forces reiterates that it does not condone any such acts and wishes to assure the public that it will not shield any soldier engaged in any criminal activity.
However it is prudent that the media and other stakeholders follow due process for the veracity of claims to be made to ensure accurate information is published.
GAF therefore wishes to urge The Chronicle and other media partners that its doors are open for the necessary clarification to ensure a balanced reportage at all times.”