Police to probe smuggling of weapons into Talensi during by-election

The Ghana Police Service says it has begun investigations into how weapons were smuggled into the Talensi constituency by some persons during a by-election on Tuesday July 7.

The contest between eight political parties saw the candidate of the National Democratic Congress, B.T. Baba, emerging as the winner.

But the elections was not without violent incidents as gunshots in wrong hands were fired, and machetes and stones used, leaving some persons with injuries.

Few hours into the elections, police and military personnel at a checkpoint at Tongo, the constituency capital, impounded a car with an AK-47 rifle and a pistol, as well as machetes.

It was unclear why the registered weapons were being transported into the electoral area during the election.
 
With few hours to the end of the polls and the final declaration of results, a few cars were also vandalized as a result of clashes fuelled by  armed groups largely from the NDC and the NPP.

The police at a point engaged in a shootout with some of the angry youth leaving some cars damaged in the process. But so far, police have not made any arrest and it is unclear whether the guns used by these armed groups have also been retrieved.

According to the Commander of the Special Forces at the Ghana Police Service, Chief Superintendent Hamza Yakubu,  they have in their custody some of the weapons.

He told TV3 the owners of the weapons, would be investigated to face the law where necessary.

“We have in our custody about twelve machetes; we also have a pump action gun with a number of ammunition; we have an AK-47 rifle in our possession. With regards to the AK-47, it is an officially assigned weapon to authorized persons. We are keeping it just because we have detailed specific persons on duty here; so any authorized person who is in possession of any official weapon that is not authorized to be here with the weapon, all that we are doing is to ensure that the weapon is kept in our custody until everything is over”.

It is unclear whether the police will end up prosecuting the violent perpetrators of Tuesday’s by-election.

Over the years, such incidents have ended up being swept under the carpet due to political influence.

The eventual winner, B.T. Baba, polled 10, 366 votes representing 42.31% of the total votes while the NPP’s Wuni Thomas Buanab polled 6,845 votes representing 27.94%.

PNC’s Wombeo Namal Teng followed closely with 6,836 representing 27.90% of the total votes.

The other five candidates together polled a handful of votes.

By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/3news.com/Ghana

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