Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Police arrest two suspects. For tampering with CCTV recording at Baba Yara

TWO persons suspected to have colluded and tampered with video information captured by CCTV security cameras at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi during last Sunday’s match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak have been arrested by the police.
A Presidential Inquiry have been initiated into the deaths at the Baba Yara Stadium last Sunday and the National Sports Council had indicated that it was going to rely on information captured by the CCTV cameras as part of the efforts to find out how the stadium was allowed to be filled over capacity as well as verify counter allegations between Kotoko officials and the police on the collection of illegal gate fees.
The CCTV cameras, which had been installed at all corners of the stadium to provide security back-up would have been very vital in finding out persons responsible for the acts, that resulted in the stadium being filled over capacity.
But before security operatives could make a move, the information on all 57 cameras located at the stadium have been deleted.
Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko who confirmed this to the Daily Graphic gave the names of those arrested as Michael Mensah Tabiri and Mohammed Oteng.
He said whiles Michael was a worker at the CCTV room at Essipong Stadium at Takoradi, Oteng was an engineer at the Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi who held the keys to the CCTV room.
Inspector Tanko said the two have since been handed over to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for investigations but initial information gathered indicated that some persons saw Tabiri leaving the CCTV room at the stadium.
He said Tabiri had alleged that he had been sent by some officials to come and check on what the cameras captured last Sunday.
The Police Officer said the investigations would try to establish how the suspect was able to gain access to the CCTV room.
He said the police received information that the information on the CCTV cameras had been deleted and when they went to the stadium to verify, it was confirmed.
He said workers at the stadium had informed the police that as of Thursday it was only the information on camera seven which was available but by Friday morning that had also been deleted.
As part of the interesting developments emerging with regards to last Sunday’s incident at the Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sylvester Asare Owusu, on Thursday said he received a total cash of GH¢820 from some fans who scaled the walls into the Stadium to watch the match between Kotoko and Hearts of Oak.
He, however, explained that some supporters of the club, on his advice, did the actual collection of money and that the money was eventually handed over to him.
The police had accused the management of Asante Kotoko of contributing to the overcrowding at the stadium, which left four people dead and others hospitalised.
Police said, for instance, that the management blatantly refused their advice to close the gates when it was realised that the stadium was full.
Again, the police said they saw Mr. Asare-Owusu holding a Zoomlion dustbin collecting money from a large number of fans as they scaled the wall into the stadium at the area behind the scoreboard.
Inspector Tanko said the police also arrested one B. K. Asamoah, a supporter of the club, who was collecting money from fans jumping the wall into the stadium.
He said when the police questioned Asamoah, he said he was working on the instructions of Mr. Asare-Owusu.
He said Asamoah consequently led the police to Mr Asare-Owusu, who was also seen with a similar litter bin collecting monies at unauthorised points.
But, reacting to the police allegation, Mr. Asare-Owusu told Kumasi-based Angel FM on Thursday that, whilst in the stadium last Sunday, someone informed him that a number of fans were scaling the walls into the stadium behind the scoreboard.
He said he quickly rushed to the area with four soldiers and realised that the information was true and that what was even more disturbing was that the police personnel at the area looked on unconcerned.
He said he also had information that some of the policemen were engaged in illegal collection of gate proceeds from fans who were using unauthorised points to enter the stadium.
The Kotoko CEO pointed out that under the circumstances the best option was for some dedicated supporters to use the litterbins to collect the monies for the club because the fans would have entered the stadium free of charge.
In his reaction however, Inspector Tanko said Mr. Asare-Owusu himself was a player in the whole drama of overcrowding.

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