I have been having nightmares over this incident in the last couple of hours, since I read about the same. And I keep hoping against hope that, somehow, this incident would in the end turn out not to have really happened as allegedly narrated by the victim. But these days in Ghana, it has become extremely difficult to differentiate the behavior of a well-trained and taxpayer-salaried uniformed official from an ordinary citizen in the street, as it were. The incident we are talking about involves two co-tenants who allegedly had an argument over the placement or location of a garbage bin in the corridor they both shared. One of these cotenants, we are told, was a man and the other a woman.

 

Well, apparently unbeknownst to the male tenant, his female co-tenant was the lover or girlfriend of one of three, or so, police officers who had first responded to the woman’s call for help. She had claimed to have been physically assaulted by her co-tenant, Mr. Bright Badu, during the course of an argument over the placement of the garbage bin. But Mr. Badu says that he had only unintentionally hit the chin of his co-tenant while gesturing during the course of their argument (See “Cop Forces Suspect to Drink Blood” DailyGuideAfrican.com / Modernghana.com 6/18/17). Now, we cannot simply take Mr. Badu’s version of the story at face value, although the Superintendent in charge of the case has reportedly confirmed the occurrence of the incident.

 

Whatever be the real substance or details of the case, the fact of the matter is that the unnamed officer involved had absolutely no right, whatsoever, to force the suspect, Mr. Bright Badu, to drink the officer’s blood because his bleeding body had allegedly been caused by his scuffle with the suspect, in the course of effecting the arrest of the latter. Alas, as if forcing the criminal suspect to drink the officer’s blood was not bizarre and criminal enough, the unnamed officer would also stab Mr. Badu multiple times in different parts of his body, we are told.

 

Now, what bothers me is the fact that according to Superintendent Kwaku Duah, the officer in charge of the case, which reportedly occurred at Fiapre, near Sunyani, the Brong-Ahafo capital, the officer involved in the incident has recently been transferred to an unnamed remote village, in order to ensure that investigations are not compromised. Now, I find this turn of events to be rather bizarre because it clearly appears as if an official attempt is being made to cover up the incident, with the hope that it will go away and die a natural death, as a result of its being secreted under media radar.

 

One can perfectly understand a trial venue for the case being moved or changed to ensure a remarkable modicum of judicial and jury neutrality, but to officially send the criminal suspect cop into hiding just as full investigations into the case are beginning to gain public traction, pretty much tells of a brazen attempt by the Brong-Ahafo Police Commander, DCOP Techie-Poku who, by the way, has reportedly vowed to sanction the officer involved in the blood-drinking episode, if the criminal act of which he has been accused turns out not to bear scrutiny, to strategically prejudice the outcome of the case in favor of one of his boys, as it were.

 

Whatever disciplinary sanctions are exacted from “Officer Dracula,” it is hoped that his case will be rigorously prosecuted in court. Merely beating up Mr. Badu would have been serious enough of a crime, even in the context of the alleged criminal suspect’s resistance of an arrest by a peace officer. But to personally and savagely stab a criminal suspect a multiplicity of times just because the suspect had allegedly assaulted the lover or girlfriend of the arresting officer, is tantamount to the officer’s literally taking the law into his own hands. We shall be watching proceedings, and will not hesitate to speak our mind or tell it like it is.

 

It is quite obvious that the officer involved in this case has absolutely no business playing a cop. Not even a concert-party cop. Rather, he deserves to be locked up in a prison cell for quite a considerable amount of punitive time. In the age of riotously rampant incidents of mob-lynching all over the country, the last breed of cop Ghanaians need or deserve is a Dracula cop.

 

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York