Liberian Vice President, Jeremiah Koung, recently visited Ghana on a special mission—to express gratitude to a Ghanaian police officer, Emmanuel Ekow Addison (now retired), whose remarkable professionalism saved him and his friends from wrongful imprisonment 24 years ago. They were wrongly labelled and arrested as alleged armed robbers.

Recounting the incident during an interview on the AM Show on Joy News, Mr Koung revealed that in the late 90s, prior to his foray into politics, he and his friends engaged in business activities and travelled through Togo to purchase cars amid Liberia’s civil unrest. Their journey led them to Ghana, where they made an unexpected stop to buy gas cylinders. Little did they know that this impromptu decision would alter their fate.

Narrating his ordeal, the Liberian Vice-President recalled how he arrived in Accra from Danale in Côte d’Ivoire between 1am and 2am aboard a bus belonging to the Ivorian transport company STIF en route to Togo. Given the time, one of his friends suggested they should rather find an entertainment centre to while away time instead of booking a hotel.

While at an entertainment centre called “Yakiki” in the early hours of a Sunday morning, they boarded a bus, mistaking two individuals already seated for the driver’s assistants. Exhausted from partying and consuming alcohol, they fell asleep during the journey, unaware of the impending danger.

Their peaceful slumber was interrupted by a vigilant Togolese companion who, sensing something amiss, alerted them to the suspicious behaviour of their supposed fellow passengers, shouting “These are criminals” repeatedly. Mr Koung said that while they were asleep, the driver and his two accomplices engaged in a conversation in Twi, plotting a robbery during the course of the journey. However, the Togolese understood the conversation and subsequently raised an alarm which prompted a confrontation, during which they overpowered their attackers and thwarted a robbery attempt.

The driver and the accomplices took to their heels and left the key in the ignition, so one of Mr Koung’s partners contemplated driving the vehicle to the nearest police station to make a formal report.

Unknown to them, the two guys ran to a nearby naval base and alleged that some Liberians were robbing a Ghanaian driver, which drew the attention of naval personnel, who mistook them for criminals and opened fire. Amidst the chaos, Mr Koung and one of his friends managed to flee, seeking refuge in the shadows of nearby bushes until dawn broke. With daylight, they promptly reported the incident to the Ashaiman police station, where they encountered Officer Emmanuel Ekow Addison. Addison, committed to upholding justice, diligently investigated the matter, ultimately exonerating Koung and his friends of any wrongdoing.

He explained that Officer Addison followed them to the crime scene and also took them to the Naval base to inquire about the incident, upon which one of the officers confirmed and told them the Togolese and another friend were picked up as suspects and sent to the Fishing Port Police Station. There, Mr Koung and his friend were handcuffed and put behind bars as suspects who escaped from the robbery incident. 

During investigations, Mr Koung proved they were businessmen and led the police officer to a spot in the bush where they had buried US$40000 meant for their trading in Togo. The discovery of the hidden money proved a pivotal piece of evidence which underscored their innocence and helped secure their release from police custody.

Grateful for Officer Addison’s unwavering dedication to justice, Mr Koung and his friends attempted to express his appreciation with a monetary gesture of US$3,000, but the investigator rejected the gift, emphasising that he was simply fulfilling his obligation as a police officer.

The officer’s unusual show of dedication was both surprising and moving for Mr Koung who over the years has endeavoured to locate Officer Addison to properly convey his gratitude.

Nevertheless, the Liberian Vice President managed to locate his “saviour” and accompanied him to the AM Show, where he seized the opportunity to extend heartfelt thanks to the Ghanaian police officer for his exemplary conduct and unwavering commitment to justice.