Viral baby flogging video: Police arrested wrong person – Media makes U-turn

The Police issued an October 4, 2022 statement looking for a man captured in a viral video flogging a toddler mercilessly.

The statement also placed a GHC2,000 reward for anyone who provided information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator and rescue of the child.

Forty-eight hours later (October 6), it was reported by Accra-based The Fourth Estate news portal that the flogger had been arrested by the Police in the Oti Region.

The location according to the story was Akaa Buem with the purported name of the flogger and his wife – also arrested – captured.

In a U-turn another 24-hours later (October 7), The Fourth Estate reported that the police in fact undertook an arrest in respect of the incident but that it was of the wrong person.

The report quoted Nana Oppong Kyekyeku, the chief of Akaa Buem, whose palace was the first stop when the alleged flogger was picked up.

“They arrested him three days ago. They released him just yesterday. They arrested him on his farm. It is true, they brought him to the palace,” the chief is quoted to have said.

Role of police in arrest report confusion:

As a result of the level of disgust expressed when the video started trending, the police were hailed for issuing a statement and a reward for the perpetrator.

It was this a relief to many who showered more praise on the service after news of the arrest was reported. The National Public Relations directorate known for releasing messages remained silent.

Then came a message released by Accra-based Citi FM to the effect that the arrest report was not true.

“The Police are following a number of leads as part of the ongoing investigation to track down the individual involved in the child abuse video which has gone viral on social media. No confirmed arrest has yet been made in connection with the case. Our intelligence teams and experts from the Police Cyber Crime Unit are working around the clock to resolve the case,” the ‘anonymous’ Police statement read in part.

About the said viral video:

The one-minute and 18-second long video shows the man, possibly the boy’s father, whipping him with a dry palm tree branch in a place that looks like a farming community.

The man heard behind the video starts by telling the other (the one whipping the boy), in Twi, that he will injure the little one, but does nothing else thereafter to stop the angry man from going ahead with his extreme ‘punishment.’

Without anyone to stop him, he whips the boy 24 times before finally leaving him be.

The more he whipped the boy, the less he cried, until a point where it became too clear that the little boy had taken so much beating he could no longer even shed a tear or cry out.

The video ends with the man behind the video saying, “I hope you have accomplished what you wanted to do.”