A 15 year-old boy was arrested and detained for destroying campaign posters of the incumbent president, John Dramani Mahama. Despite the fact that the boy is under-age and still a minor, the police went ahead and locked him up in their cells for an offence the boy was unaware is a criminal one. Had the 15 year-old boy known that torn Mahama posters could land him in police cells, he would have respectfully avoided them!
Meanwhile, the father of the 15-year-old boy is questioning the circumstances under which his son was arrested and detained in a police cell for a day for allegedly defacing Mahama posters.
According to reports from Myjoyonline, the boy whose name was not disclosed was nabbed on Sunday evening by Customs officials on Sunday evening while he and his two friends were playing with torn Mahama posters. According to the minor, his two friends escaped while he was caught and handed over to the Atimpoku Police in the Eastern Region. Never knowing the seriousness of his offence, the poor boy was detained for a night.
The boy alleged he was beaten up by the Customs officials before he was thrown into the police cells. He has since been feeling pains in his leg after he was allegedly hit with batons.
The father, Isaac Kwarteng, who resides in Tema, told myjoyonline.com he was at home, Sunday evening when he got the news about the arrest of his son. He said he was shocked and quickly called his guardian (the boy’s grand mother) who was taking care of his son in Atimpoku but the woman was in tears and couldn’t speak.
He had to move to Atimpoku but all efforts to get his son released proved futile. It took the intervention of the Assembly man of the area for the boy to be released but that was on Monday afternoon at 3:00 pm. Mr Kwarteng complained the arrest and treatment meted out to his son were unfair.
According to the 15 year-old boy, he and his two friends saw parts of the President’s campaign posters defaced on walls close to the Adomi Bridge and they also decided to tear the other part. He said they were playing with the torn posters when two Customs Officials appeared on the scene chased and arrested him around 7:00 pm Sunday evening. He further narrated that he was thrown into the police cell where he spent the night alone crying all night.
According to him, the police suspected that he was sent to deface the posters of president John Mahama and vowed to send him to court.
However, he denied being sent by anyone but admitted tearing part of the already torn Mahama posters. He said he did not know tearing posters was a crime.
It should be however, noted that under the country’s electoral laws “It is an offence to destroy, remove or disfigure campaign materials of other candidates or parties.”
Several attempts to have the Atimpoku Police speak on the matter failed. Chief Inspector Ali who heads the station but on leave said he did not know about incident. He would also not give the contact of the person who is taking temporary responsibility at the station.
The Assembly man who got the boy bailed also confirmed the matter but said there is no need to speak further on the issue since it had been resolved amicably.