Five members of staff of the Midland Savings and Loans Company who witnessed the assault of a customer of the company at one of its branches by a policeman, Frederick Amanor, have been suspended pending investigations into the matter.
Their suspension follows what the management of the company described as their “failure” to handle the situation in the manner they were trained to do.
“Management has commenced investigations into the matter and all those involved will be dealt with in accordance with the law. We do not approve of what happened and condemn it in no uncertain terms. It is unfortunate, but our staff are trained to respond to the needs of customers in a professional manner,” the Deputy Managing Director of Midlands, Mr Isaac Mensah, told the Daily Graphic in an interview.
While showing appreciation for the role of the police in protecting financial institutions, including the company, he said the incident involving the policeman was regrettable and unwarranted.
He rendered an unqualified apology to Ms Patience Osafo, the victim of the police brutality, on behalf of the company and said it had, since last Friday, tried to contact her personally to apologise to her but the effort was yet to yield fruits.
“We have been to her house; we have called the number she provided in our database but it is either someone picks and says she is not around or the phone is off. We want to apologise to her. We are deeply sorry for what happened,” Mr Mensah said.
He said the company would compensate Ms Osafo for the unfortunate incident which had brought the name of the company into disrepute.
“We want to compensate her; it is something we cannot run away from. But, first, we need to see her and apologise to her for what she went through. But so far that has not been successful. Wherever she is, we want to say we are sorry.
“We have been in this business for 21 years and value our customers, as they are the reason we exist. It is regrettable things went that way,” he said.
Going into the genesis of the incident, he said from Tuesday, July 17, 2018, the company’s network, managed by an information technology company, went down until the evening of Thursday, June 19, 2018.
He said while it was still serving its customers during the period, its back-up system also got very slow, making it impossible to facilitate transactions as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, Ms Osafo got a presidential mention last weekend when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo condemned the assault meted out to her.
The President, while on a tour of the Northern Region, said: “I want to say it here that policemen are meant to protect citizens and not assault them.”
He said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) had his support to sanction the erring officer, as well as ensure that the incident did not happen again.
“I support 100 per cent the measures that he has taken, so that we can stop these incidents from proliferating,” the President said in response to a statement from the Police Service that steps had been taken to bring L/Cpl Amanor to book.
The victim, who is reported to be a mother of three, with a grandchild from a daughter who has epilepsy, became a star in less than two hours after the video was leaked.
She has since that time been receiving cash and food donations running into more than GH¢20,000 cedis.
The Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) is also appealing to the public to donate cash and items to support her and her family. Donors are kindly invited to call 0302 684024 to support the project.
The newly elected Women’s Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Madam Kate Abena Gyamfua, has presented GH¢5,000, rice, oil and other food items to Ms Osafo, while the Manhyia North MP, Mr Collins Owusu-Amankwah, has also donated GH¢2,000.
Others have donated baby milk, diapers and food items to the victim.
The policeman’s family has pleaded with Ghanaians to forgive L/Cpl Amanor, since what he did in the video was unusual of him.
The incident has since sparked public outrage and attracted condemnation from the IGP, the ministries of the Interior and Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), among others.