The Head of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, DSP Azugu, has admitted that his boys deployed to ensure incident-free by election in Ayawaso West Wuogon, were unprofessional in their conduct in dealing with the violence that broke out.
Appearing before the Justice Emile Short Commission of Inquiry tasked to probe the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, Monday, DSP Azugu said the manner in which his boys handled some of the guys who were arrested on suspicion of causing unrest during the polls were was not the best.
“My Lord, I can say that the way and manner my men handled the situation was unprofessional. Their idea of minimum force that we saw on TV was just too much for all of us. When the nine persons were arrested, some of them surrounded peacefully and were taken to the vehicle but some decided to run away from lawful arrest and the boys pounced on them and the mood and the way they were handled – that’s why I’m saying that it amounted to the subject of action against them”, he noted.
He further told the Committee that although he was a witness to some of the arrest during the by-election, he never witnessed any of them being manhandled.
It was after reviewing videos as captured by the media that he came to the conclusion that some of the arrested suspects were unprofessionally handled by the SWAT Team.
Asked whether he would be surprised if some of those arrested men were said to have evidence of assault as in having been beaten, DSP Azugu said “I did not see those arrested being manhandled in the way it was captured by some of the media. As at the time I took them to the Police Station, I have not seen any mark on them and none of them informed me that they were injured, my Lord”.
When further asked whether he would also be surprised to see a picture of one of the arrested men with a blood stained vest, he answered in the negative.
It’s therefore right for me to suggest to you that as at the time that you were taken the man to the Police Station, he had that blood stained shirt, is it right, Justice Emile Short quizzed.
DSP Azugu in his response said “My Lord, I can easily identify that gentleman because after his arrest, he was wearing a white t-shirt and I even interviewed him. That time, there was no stain in the singlet but I believe for one reason or the other that later when he left, he used the singlet to wipe the blood that may be oozing from his cut that I did not see. But at the time that I took him to the Police Station, his singlet was not soaked in blood”.