Turning a blessing into a curse – An aura of Police misconduct

Thu, 1 Oct 2015 Source: Dabbousi, Fabi

By: Fadi Dabbousi

It has long been known that individuals of the Ghana police Service are so neck-deep in corruption that they cannot be redeemed. In fact, Police personnel are referred to, generally, by the term “One Ghana”. That is in reference to the “de facto” system of collecting one Ghana Cedi from commercial vehicle drivers, daily. “Payment of Dues” they call it.

However, for the past few years, the Police have developed an appetite for more, stepping up from reds to greens, purples and browns (10, 20 and 50 Cedi notes). At night, their patrols spell disaster to decorum and nationalistic demeanour. They have become an absolute apology. Their condescension is most obnoxious. They are instilling in people fear with the heavy arms that they wield at night as if they are headed to a war front.

I do not care to hear the ludicrous reasons they give. The lies and lack of sense in their deliberations, coupled with a deficit in substance are some of the reasons why Ghanaians do not respect them. Other than the guilt of oppressing the nation, resorting to violence and suspected collusive (in)justice to suppress rightful citizens, the perception that they have transmogrified into an ugly example of State Police is rife and widely speculated.

A few days ago, I heard a chilling story of a horrible trend that is gradually taking root amongst some of these charlatans cloaked in the uniform of honour…Our Honour! A foreigner living at Labone was stopped by a police patrol and searched. An “officer of the law” took out a match box from his pocket containing weed and announced that he had found drugs. Visibly shaken, the traumatised foreigner did not know what to do, but when he was told to open it, this person refused. He insisted that it was not his and that he would not touch it because he wanted a forensic check on it. He acknowledged that if the shocking accusation were true, his fingerprints would be found all over the box. The Police tried to make him touch it, but he refused relentlessly. After a harrowing ordeal, the aberration was over, but not until the foreigner was ripped off. They took an unspecified amount of money from that person.

In another incident, last week, another victim was stopped under the pretext of having run a red light. He contended that he never did. In fact, the light had just turned amber as he was crossing, according to his narration. A rifle-wielding officer sat in his car and ordered him to drive. He was finally taken to a remote area in Accra in a bid to coerce him to pay or be sent to court. The victim refused, stating his readiness to pay any amount of money to the government if the court found him guilty. After a long give and take quarrel, the officer asked the victim to go and beg the inspector in the patrol vehicle that had followed up. Again the victim refused. Eventually, the police man disembarked the vehicle and told him to be careful because “next time he would be jailed”.

Good grief, what is happening to the uniforms of honour? What have Ghanaians done to deserve such disservice? The Police, almost always, seem to be in the news for the wrong reasons. Even when they do an honourable thing, it eventually is tarnished by misconduct of some sort.

Mr IGP, look into this matter. GOD be my witness, if it were ever to happen to me, I would make so much noise about it that your whole institution would regret having worn our uniform of honour. So sit up and do the job that you have been mandated to do for the people. Do not allow yourself to be used by useless politicians of the day with their flaccid dignity and lack of reasoning. Protect Ghanaians and their rights. Protect foreigners. How do you expect investors to have trust in the system when they are fighting different battles on many fronts; fighting to keep their investments, honour and dignity intact?

Even the Traffitac personnel are now agents of the Police in their criminal chop chop agenda. Sometime last year, a traffitac person at the roundabout of Accra Mall spotted me in fourth position in the traffic queue. He, immediately, abandoned post and walked right up to me. He asked, facelessly, “you ger santing for me?” Being fair in complexion, the stooge thought that I was obroni. When I retorted in Twi, his shock exposed him. He turned about and vanished. He did not return to post.

Your outfit has already disgraced Ghanaians with the violent suppression of a peaceful demonstration, recently. You sought to place an injunction on another one. It was granted and then subsequently set aside. You went again to another court and sought same. It was granted, but it shall be set aside once more. The reasons given are indicative of the shambolic state of your system and lop-sidedness. Even the officers who defended the unsustainable theories on TV only worsened the matter. You did not have enough personnel to ensure the protection of the demonstrators but had more than enough to picket at the Electoral Commission. In fact, the number of police officers dispatched to protect the so-called security zone of the EC could have outnumbered the demonstrators by 2 to 1.

Please, do the rightful and protect all the souls in Ghana, foreigners and Ghanaians alike.

GOD Bless Ghana.

Columnist: Dabbousi, Fabi