The Director of Operations of the National Security Council, Col. Michael Opoku has explained that the statement by the Commander in charge of the National Security SWAT team, DSP Samuel Kojo Azugu that his officers wear masks sometimes to protect themselves against mosquito bites was meant to be a joke.

“My Lord sometimes we wear those masks because of mosquito bites. To prevent mosquitoes from biting our ears and faces,” DSP Azugu said during the cross-examination at the Justice Emile Short’s Commission of Inquiry on Monday, February 18, 2019 in Accra.

Though he is to yet know the reason why his men wore masks at the by-election, he said they wore the mask to protect their faces.

But appearing before the Commission on Wednesday, Col. Michael Opoku stated that the mosquito comment must be taken in jest.

“My Lord I think that my DSP said the mask was for protection against mosquitoes but it was not for mosquitoes, I think it was just for a joke that he made. But we normally mask to ensure that our operatives are not seen. Operatives live within the communities if you see a policeman masked it means that policeman is living within the community and he can be seen a day or tomorrow after the operation. So normally those who are likely to be seen and their cover blown are masked and in this situation, those who were masked that was the essence. We didn’t want their cover to be blown.”

He added: My Lord you remember that he gave two reasons, one was the fact that they go to certain places there may be mosquitoes so they take it along and the second reason is that they don’t want to be seen because they live in communities but I think people have taken the mosquito one as the one of importance more than keeping their identity from the populace. That’s why I’m saying that that one must be taken as a joke because that early morning there wasn’t that much mosquitoes there but we were working towards deep into the night, so maybe that was what he was talking about.”

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