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Ayawaso election: I didn’t know about SWAT operation – IGP

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The Inspector General of Police, David Asante Appeatu has told the Justice Emile Short Commission that he had no knowledge that the office of National Security deployed a SWAT team of masked operatives for an operation around the private residence of the main opposition National Democratic Congress’ parliamentary candidate, Mr Delali Kwasi Brempong on the day of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

“I did not know about it,” Mr Asante-Apeatu told the Commission when asked if his office had prior knowledge about the operations of the masked men on the said day.

According to him, he only got to know of the presence of the personnel after violence erupted during the by-election.

Whatsapp Communication In The Security Service

Testifying before the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday, the IGP disclosed that, it is “normal” for top police officers to resort to WhatsApp and SMS messages in communication.

According to him, he is even on the same page with all regional commanders and they communicate frequently.

“It is normal,” IGP Asante-Apeatu emphasized.

He said communication via WhatsApp or SMS provides a record trail and “it is a valid communication amongst us”.

Asked by prosecutor Eric Osei Mensah whether there will still be that record trail five years in the future, the nation’s topmost police officer said “these messages once we send culminate into documents”.

“But for immediate communication, we will rely on social media,” he said.

Room for improvement

On the issues that led to the seeming security breakdown during the by-election, IGP Asante-Apeatu admitted that there was lack of coordination among the security agencies.

“Well, there is a lot of room for improvement as far as coordination and collaboration is concerned,” he stated.

He said he has extended a hand to some of his colleagues in the other security forces for a dialogue on coordination.

Though he said the gesture is not on authority, “I hope that we will present a paper in that direction”.

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