Otiko Afisa Djaba
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, has condemned the attack on an alleged female thief in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
Several persons were captured on video stripping and beating the lady for allegedly stealing money from a shop owner at Adum in Kumasi. The video subsequently went viral on social media.
Several groups have since called for prosecution of persons involved in the incident.
Speaking to Citi News, Madam Otiko Djaba described the incident as horrific, and commended efforts by the police in arresting the suspects.
“Ghana is a blessed country; and we live by the principles of democracy and the rule of law. I condemn the video. It is horrific, it is about injustice, and that is not who we are as a people. Ghanaians have a lot of warmth and love especially for their mothers and children and so even if there is an allegation we believe a person is innocent until proven guilty.Criminals as well have rights; so in this case there is an allegation that she has stolen some money; but whether it is true or not, it is not for the mob to decide. It is for the system. It is the Police who will decide on that and that is why I am condemning it.”
“The treatment she was given is inhumane and lacks dignity. I want to apologize on her behalf and Ghana, and we will put in some mechanisms to ensure that it does not happen again. Having said that; I think there is a trend of intolerance building up in our society. Sometimes even young men who are involved are burnt. Mob action and some form of rage seems to be coming into our national development and that means we have a lot of work in the advocacy so we are going to work with the Police and stakeholders like the traditional rulers and the victims themselves so that we begin to sensitize our people about tolerance and the rights of individuals.”
Meanwhile the Police in Kumasi have arrested 24 men suspected to be involved in the incident. The 24 suspects are currently in the custody of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Kumasi.
According to police sources, a screening exercise is expected to take place to identify those who took part in the mob action.