A man arrested during electoral violence in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election last month has denied being a member of pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) militia group, The Hawks.
Stoutly-built Sedodu Theophilus told the Commission of Inquiry investigating the violence, he only wore a T-shirt with the inscription ‘The Hawks’.
“I am not a member of the Hawks but I wore their T-Shirt,” he said and explained the shirt was given to him during the Unity Walk organised by the NDC in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi.
Sedodu Theophilus was one of 16 persons arrested during the violence recorded at La Bawaleshie, a community within the constituency.
The Director of Operations at National Security Colonel Michael Opoku who testified days ago fingered The Hawks as having played a role in the violence and pointed to Theophilus as one of the leaders of the criminal group.
“When you google for information of Hawks, you will see him”, Col. Opoku said.
The Hawks was outdoored last September with the explanation it is in response to a regime of insecurity under the Akufo-Addo government.
The party’s General Secretary Asiedu Nketia endorsed the Hawks based in Kumasi and explained it is a push-back against the violence and thuggery unleashed by pro-NPP militia groups such as Invincible Forces and Delta Forces.
Stoutly-built Sedodu Theophilus [L] wearing the T-shirt of the Hawks
There is growing evidence that rival militia groups fomented electoral violence on January 31, 2019 in a by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in Accra.
Sedodu Theophilus testified he was standing in front of the residence of the NDC parliamentary candidate Delali Brempong where violence later broke out between an agitated crowd and a SWAT team.
He said he was arrested after the SWAT team encountered him by the house and sent to the East Legon District police.
The East Legon police commander DSP George Asare told the Commission, the suspect told him, he was at La Bawaleshie to provide security for the NDC candidate.
But at the Commission hearing Thursday, Sedodu Theophilus rejected the police commander’s testimony.
He said he was within the constituency to help serve food, specifically rice water.
He rejected accusations he is a member of the Hawk. He said he was given a T-Shirt with The Hawk to wear to direct human and vehicular traffic during the NDC Unity Walk.
The witness said he first saw his images on Accra-based TV station, UTV describing him as a member of the Hawks. He would later see his image splashed in newspapers.
Sedodu Theophilus said his stout stature could have informed the ‘media distortion’ of his identity.
He told the Commission he has been unable to challenge this distortion because he knows “does not know who to complain to.”
The witness told the Commission he does not even know what the Hawks do or what they stand for.