Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nana Asante Apeatu has revealed that the police did not anticipate an escape by the 13 Delta Force members who had been arraigned considering the fact that they willingly presented themselves to be sent to court prior to the hearing.
He was reacting to the news of the 13 vigilantes who escaped from their custody with the help of fellow Delta Force colleagues who had thronged a criminal hearing at a Kumasi Circuit Court.
The 13, who were remanded into prison custody and billed to reappear on 20 April, were whisked away through the backdoor of the judge’s chamber by their supporters.
However, the IGP in a press release on Thursday, April 6 stated: “We had police officers at the court and we had about 20 officers on standby but, if you remember we gave the accused persons [police] bail when they were suspects and they willingly appeared before the court, so you can imagine that the extent of danger or likelihood of they escaping was not as high as we will believe,” he explained at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, April 6.
According to him, even though some police officers were stationed at the court, “they were overwhelmed by the numbers that came to the court to beseech the court to enable these accused persons to escape”.
Police in the Ashanti Region have already issued a bench warrant for the 13 Delta Force members and the IGP has assured that the law enforcement agency will do everything in its power to ensure that the fugitives are apprehended and prosecuted.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Ambrose Dery has “condemned” the action of the escapees, advising them to turn themselves in or be hunted down.
“We shall pursue them and arrest them and bring them back to court,” he said.
Mr Dery, while speaking to journalists, said: “They (escapees) are advised in their interest to go back by themselves or be subjected to arrest, that we assure.”
He continued: “When you flout the law, you shall be subjected to the law.”
He emphasised that no matter the affiliation of any individuals who break the laws of the country, the security agencies will not relent in their efforts in ensuring that such persons are prosecuted.
“Whatever party you belong, whatever position you hold…NPP or NDC, CPP or PNC, Ghanaian or foreigner, when you break the law you will be arrested, subjected to investigation and go through due process,” he stressed
Meanwhile, eight of the Delta Force supporters who aided the escape of the 13 suspects have been arrested.