Information reaching Today points to the sudden death of one of the recruits of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) Academy and Training School at Kpetoe in the Agotime-Ziope District of the Volta Region.
Our findings established that the recruit died as a result of a regular welcome harsh training exercise by CEPS for new recruits.
Five others, Today understands, who were also heavily molested during the harsh training, collapsed, and are currently responding to medical treatment at various hospitals in the Volta Region.
Today is reliably informed that the recruit (name withheld) lost his life as a result of what the sources at the training ground described as a “life-threatening” welcome exercise.
The deceased, after the about two hours drill, collapsed with his luggage in front of the training school as he could not take the alleged excesses of the drill.
The medical team attended to him, and he was conveyed to the regional hospital in Ho where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
A secret video recording of the training in possession of Today shows that the recruits being shoved, lashed and heckled as they carried their luggage on their heads.
Those whose luggage were considered by the instructors as light were given additional weight, including cement blocks and cements.
The welcome exercise is an age-old ritual at the training school where new recruits are met at a distance from the school by their instructors for an endurance drill.
During the exercise, the recruits are usually instructed to hop, jump, run and perform other tactical activities with their luggage as a test of their endurance and to prepare them for the real training itself.
The ritual is also used to give recruits the opportunity to decide whether they want to continue the training or not. This activity often attracts residents who line up along the streets to watch the recruits.
Last week’s training exercise, the sources told Today, was out of the ordinary as it recorded a lot of excesses including beating and maltreatment.
These drew a lot of crowd on the streets, some of whom took footages with their phones.
The sources who spoke on anonymity noted that this was the first time they had seen that kind of exercise.
The witnesses said, “We have been witnessing this welcome exercises, but this one was too much and too dangerous…I was afraid for the recruits.”
Another eyewitness who was furious described the exercise as sheer wickedness rather than training: “How can you torture a fellow human being and refer to that as training? I don’t think military training is like this.”
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
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