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Opinions Sun, 11 Sep 2011

“Koti” Arrest “Koti”?

From: Stephen A. Quaye, Toronto-Canada.

Dear Inspector “KOTI”, is it true that one side pocket of every police officer I mean your KOTI boys is sewed specially that the pocket is directed backwards to the lower part of the buttocks instead of sitting on the thigh?

Again Sir, can you tell us whether it is true that at every training course of young recruits to pass out, their instructors as well as lecturers train them how to collect bribes before they pass out as young constables?

No, but let me ask because this has been a long standing perception raging in peoples minds that because of these, the police officers no matter what better conditions of service any government provide them will still collect bribes or involve themselves in corrupt acts specially collecting bribes..

Why these questions? Like I said, it is always perceived that every police officer you meet, one side pocket of his trousers is sewed backwards so that when he collects money and sit down he will sit on it and not allow it to poor down to expose him.

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If young recruits who pass out into main stream police service as officers and men as part of their training are never taught of how to twist their hands and collect bribes as they expertly do everyday, then where do they learn this practice which makes them to collect bribe everyday in Ghana?

It is very difficult for one to understand why officers and men in the blue uniform no matter what benefits the government is giving them to encouragement them to discharge their duties diligently still mount road barriers and collect bribes from innocent drivers.

Maybe the Inspector General of Police [IGP] Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, my name sake can offer some clue to this appalling behavior of his young officers and men who do not fear “huu” in the system.

Police officers take home pay now is far better than other security services, thanks be to the president’s SSSS program which pitched them higher than others. But still these KOTI guys storms the streets, threatens to shake the shit out of innocent drivers in order to collect bribes and yes they have been collecting bribes everyday.

If not why are they being arrested every now and then? Kindly check the police service website itself and you will read stories of arrests involving police officers who mounted road barriers to check roadworthiness of vehicles, drivers licenses and more but instead ended up being arrested by their colleagues for collecting bribes.

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The IGP has been commended for embarking on cleaning of the service of which he is the head but the “we no fear huu” attitude being demonstrated by recalcitrant officers that has led to their arrest in recent times of collecting bribes means the police boss has to go extra mile to accomplish his mission for the service.

The Manfi incident where former IGP Peter Nanfuri’s, unexpected appearance sent police officers running into the bush like they were powered by machines is still fresh in my mind.

He was aware of officers collecting bribes therefore decided to use that occasion to catch his own KOTI guys red handed by disguising himself. Instead of plying the Adenta Ayi Mensah road through Peduwasi ,Aburi to Akropong Odwera, the smart peace officer went round his subordinates by going through Nsawam through Suhum to Koforidua where he joined the regional minister and his regional commander to Akropong through Manfi.

Right about to enter Manfi with his tainted glass Nissan 4 X 4 wheel drive, he was stopped by police officers who did not recognize him and ordered him to get down in an attempt to collect bribe.

He got down looking ordinary in his African wear and lo and behold when the police officers discovered that it was their boss, they quickly absconded into the bush shouting,” Massa massa I beg oo, I sack my self” holding tight their beret in order not to fly away to give them up.

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Apart from that incident, there were other incidents where officers and men were arrested at Achimota overhead. Some dispatch riders were also arrested for collecting bribes hoping it will put some fear in the officers but no.

Just last week, another group of police officers have been arrested on Cape Coast road for collecting bribes and facing interdiction. Why won’t they just turn a new leaf to save themselves, their colleague officers and men as well as their families from the biggest embarrassment the criminal act causes them?

Once again maybe the police authority will have to come out and tell us what do these bribe collectors in the service use their booty for. They do not pay rent, pay transportation nor buy riffles for their duties as they are catered for by the government.

Or, they use the money to pay for other services which the police authority does not pay for such as shaking what their mother’s gave them on innocent ladies at villages where they mount their barriers?

It is very worrying that despite all the fat envelopes police officers receive as their take home pay every month, they will still have to storm the roads and collect bribes.

You will agree with me that the IGP must go extra mile by disguising himself on many occasions and take some of the major highways and catch his boys red handed and throw them into jail. That will put more fear in his bribe collecting officers because they will not know who will be the next victim.

In all can someone tell us why police officers despite all that they get from the government will not desist from collecting bribes? We need to know.

End.

Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.