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Tension mounts among Senior Officers, Inspectorate and other ranks of the Ghana Police Service following the suspicion that Commissioner of Police (COP) James Oppong Boanuh was deliberately appointed Deputy Inspector-General of Police (IGP) as a ploy to force the Police Council and the President to offer him two-year contract extension at the end of his service.
According to sources in the service, COP Oppong Boanuh, who officially turns 60 today was on leave prior to retirement as procedure demands but was appointed to place him in pole position as the next IGP when David Asante-Apeatu retires on August 14, 2019.
Report indicates that Senior Officers, Inspectorate and other ranks are infuriated that another retiree is in waiting for the position of IGP. Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan and John Kudalor all had two years’ contract extension after clocking 60 years.
Mr Asante-Apeatu was due to retire on August 14, 2017.
However, per Article 199 Clause 4 of the 1992 Constitution as amended by Section 6 of the 1992 Constitution Act 527, 1996 (Amendment), the President has the prerogative to extend the service of a public officer on reaching the retirement age of 60 years.
Clause 4 of the amended Act provides that: “Notwithstanding clause (1) of this article, a public officer, who has retired from the public service after attaining the age of 60 years, may, where the exigencies of the service require, be engaged for a limited period of not more than two years at a time but not exceeding five years in all and upon such other terms and conditions as the appointing authority shall determine.”
Current IGP David Asante-Apeatu was given a two-year extension of service as IGP when he was due to retire on August 14, 2017.
Staffs members express disappointment
But, the angry Senior Officers, Inspectorate and other ranks hold the view that the practice must stop because there are equally competent serving Senior Officers capable of discharging the duties of IGP.
The displeased personnel suspect that the President and Vice-President are being misinformed about the realities in the Ghana Police Service, thereby appointing retirees to such top positions in the service when there are many serving police commissioners.
They argue that the development has resulted in total disrespect of the ranking system in the police whenever these retirees are appointed.
The Deputy IGP position, which is part of the Police Service Regulations under Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) 76, has been vacant for many years.
Since the last Deputy IGP, Mohammed Alhassan, was promoted as IGP; the Deputy IGP position remained vacant until the recent appointment of COP Oppong Buanuh.
Offering contracts to retirees clearly violates Article 191, Section 1 of the 1992 Republic of Ghana Constitution, which reads: “A public officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty years.”
The constitution also provides that retired public servants, whose services are critically needed by the state, qualify for contract extension up to age 65.
Auditor- General against Contract Employment
Meanwhile, Auditor- General Daniel Yao Demelevo, has kicked against contract employment because the practice was draining the country of huge sums of financial resources that could be utilised to develop the nation.
“I think one of the major problems we have in this country is contract employment. We have to say it and say it as it is, that when the curtain falls, it is time to leave the stage. You must go home and join your grandchildren so that others can also come,” he stated.
Contract staff blocks chances of unemployed graduates
Demelevo also argued that it was “irrational” for the country to contract persons who retired on their salaries and put them on the government payroll, while there were so many unemployed graduates as a result of lack of funds.
For example, he said the former Auditor-Generalretired on his salary “so anytime my salary goes up, he also enjoys salary increase and so if you engage such a person again as a contract person, there is so much being spent on one person while our graduates don’t have jobs to do”.
Most government officials had been given contracts, which, he described as, tantamount to blocking promotions of otherwise deserving officers and preventing the employment of fresh graduates coming out of school.
Mr Asante-Apeatu was appointed IGP in January this year following the retirement of Mr John Kudalor.
Until his assumption of office as IGP, Mr Asante-Apeatu was the Director-General, Research and Planning of the Ghana Police Service.
He was once the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Service.
In 2007, he was appointed Director of the Specialised Crime and Analysis (SCA) Unit at the INTERPOL headquarters in Lyon, France.
Internationally, he had worked at the Sarajevo Police Academy as an Instructor in Human Dignity, Police Ethics and Criminal Investigations under the auspices of the United Nations Task Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1997 to 1998.
He was the team leader in a successful homicide investigation under the request of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNAMIL).
Mr Asante-Apeatu was the team leader in investigations into the mass murder of more than 50 people, mostly West African nationals, in The Gambia.
In Ghana, he was the Lead Investigator in the serial killing of more than 30 women that led to the arrest of a culprit who had been prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to death.
Under the supervision of Mr Asante-Apeatu and based on intelligence, the CID successfully conducted an operation that resulted in the seizure of 588 kilogrammes of cocaine with the street value of about $38 million in 2006.
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