The Bono East Regional Police Commander has been forced by circumstances and pressure to order a refund of a GH¢200 MTN Mobile Money (Momo) bribe one of his officers took from a Yendi traveller with a threat to the victim after the matter was put on social media.
According to the facts available to MyNewsGh.com, a police officer who was stationed at “Last 2 Barrier” in a town called Yeji in the Bono East Region on 16th September stopped a young motor rider and his friend at the police checkpoint on a motorbike.
The police officer after failing to extort money from the riders forcefully took the rider’s mobile phone and threatened him to reveal his pin after which he transferred an amount of GH¢200 to his Momo number 0244517503 with the name, Ngbangala Kwame.
He deleted the record of the transaction afterwards but the same was retrieved from the service provider.
According to the victim, the police officer accused the two riders of being armed robbers but after searching them, he only found a Quran and some Islamic books on them. The two young men told the police officers they were from Yendi the capital of Dagban kingdom and were travelling to Prang for a Maulid celebration (Islamic birthday cerebration of prophet Mohammed SAW) but the police insisted they were armed robbers.
The two young men were beaten severely and charged to pay the Ghc200 if they wanted their freedom.
The young men refused and said they had no money. The police officer after searching the two and taking what remains in cash on them forcefully took the rider’s mobile phone and transferred the amount after threatening him to reveal his pin.
This is even after one of the police officers took the victim to a nearby village for Momo withdrawal on his Momo wallet but the Momo vendor didn’t have money, so they return back to the police checkpoint where one of the police officers allegedly transferred the money from his mobile wallet after threats to disclose pin.
The victim, Alhassan Seidu, upon reaching Prang the venue of the Maulid reported to the leader of the Tijanniya Movement Sheikh Abdul Faili Maikano Jallo who also called the police commander in Prang and reported the issue to him.
The Prang Police commander reportedly said those policemen were not in Prang but Yeji, so the victim should come to his office for them to go to Yeji.
When the police officer who took Momo’s number was called, he answered and said nothing could be done to him, admitting to the victim had taken the money and spent it. This is after the victim requested and took details of the deleted momo transaction from MTN.
The Bono East Regional Police Commander reportedly ordered the Momo to be refunded when the issues got to his attention. It is unclear what further steps the police administration is taking on the issue.
Other recent case:
This development is not new as in May this year, some five police officers are currently on trial for similar extortion at Awudome Cemetery after they arrested a supposed suspect. They forced him to transfer an amount of Ghc20,000 to a momo account after they accused him of being an internet fraudster.
The five are; General Constable Wishwell Odoo, General Constable Lawal Agyapong, General Constable Evans Arawassi, General Constable Sena Kuvordo and Lance Corporal Redeemer Agama.
They are facing three counts of criminal charges namely conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, and attempted bribery.
According to the facts of the case as presented by ASP Evans Akesse, the policemen stopped the complainant on the UPSA road and eventually coerced him into transferring GHS 20,000 to a mobile money account after abducting him to the Awudome cemetery area where they threatened to kill him.
ASP Kesse also said the five serving policemen went on to give a GHS 2,000 bribe offer to the investigator on the case in an attempt to get him to drop the case against them.
The status of that case remains unknown.