UG: Commonwealth Hall residents bemoan police brutality on members following vigil tragedy

Deborah Yakohene
Deborah Yakohene
4 Min Read

Some Commonwealth Hall members have lamented over brutality on students exerted by police officers on campus.

This follows a chaotic procession that took place in the late hours of 6th July, 2023, where some Commonwealth boys were severely beaten and wounded by police officers.

The procession was meant to be vigil held for James Lutterodt, who was also well-known for his academic achievements in representing his alma mater, Keta Senior High School, in the prestigious National Science and Maths Quiz, taking his school to the final rounds.

James passed away on 3rd July, allegedly from food poisoning. Being a former resident in Commonwealth Hall, members of the hall organized what was supposed to be a peaceful vigil in honor of James. But what should have been a night to reminisce and honor a brother, became a moment of brutality and violence.

Students from Commonwealth hall questioned the need for the police to interfere in what they described as a peaceful procession. They expressed anger over the wounds that were inflicted by the police officers on the university campus as they gave details on what ensued at the procession.

“Yesterday, what happened was so bad. We were having fun. Our brother was gone.  But we had to do something to show that we love ourselves. We are together. Our brother is gone and we were just mourning him. Everything was peaceful before the police officers arrived.We went everywhere and nothing happened,” one student stated.

“We were just having fun and charging as everybody knows.  All of a sudden, all that we saw was police. And they were just beating us using canes. Some even tried to use gun to hit us. This was very bad. We didn’t do anything,” another lamented.

“It was a peaceful procession that we did. We went to all the halls and we didn’t touch anything. The last part, the police appeared and hurt us. They even hit someone’s head badly. Everywhere was chaotic. All this violence for no reason at all. I don’t understand why the police had to treat us this way,” another pondered.

Prior to the tragedy, commonwealth Residents processed around most of the halls in the University in their typical fashion; from the Traditional Halls to the UGEL halls, where they sang ‘Jama’ to honor their lost brother.

After some Vandals entered Volta Hall to climax the procession, police officers appeared at the scene and were reported to have started hitting and inflicting wounds on the various members of the procession.

The brutality by the police officers were evident in the scores of bruises and deep wounds that were inflicted on the Commonwealth hall members. Many of the students were not spared the brutality.

This has raised concerns among various stakeholders on the University Campus, especially on Social Media, where many individuals expressed disappointment in the police for treating the students violently.

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