Kobby Acheampong Again
Eight cops are in trouble for allegedly offending a deputy minister of the Interior, Kobby Acheampong. Without a shred of doubt, he has an upper hand in the matter at hand.
Their case has been aggravated because the Ghana Police Service falls under the gentleman's ministry and so investigation into the allegation levelled against the cops by the deputy minister appears to have already been completed, less than 48 hours after the matter was reported by the deputy minister to the chief constable. A mind-boggling record time, you bet it.
In a statement fired by the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, expectedly skewed, the cops have been found guilty already. We certainly do not expect the Police Administration to make the deputy minister look bad no matter the merits or demerits of what really happened.
We are wondering whether the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards (PIPS) unit should continue to worry their heads over investigating the matter, with the Police Administration's verdict already in the public domain.
We do not, by any stretch of imagination, seek to hold brief for policemen who create a lot of nuisance for motorists on the highways by their sometimes unnecessary stopping of vehicles plying the nation's roads. But as Ghanaians who have opted to serve the country in this department of state, they are entitled to fair hearing, regardless of the party they are at loggerheads with.
Many Ghanaians are convinced that the deputy minister's position, alongside the oversight responsibility of his ministry over the police department presents him with a comparative advantage to deal with the cops for their alleged effrontery.
We do not seek to veer into the merits or otherwise of the matter in point but suffice it to state that the alacrity with which judgment was passed by the Police, as contained in the hurriedly-written statement, smacks of unseemliness.
We should guard against such hasty judgments, especially in matters regarding lowly-placed public officials like constables. Being the first line of contact by members of the public, this class of police officers must be handled with utmost respect and not the kind of treatment being meted out to them by superior police officers in their bid to satisfy politicians in power.
Had the litany of cases on the shelves of the PIPS at the Police headquarters been rendered the kind of speed and treatment as witnessed in the Kobby Acheampong versus the eight cops' story, our law enforcement would have been rendered the much needed cleansing to rid it of bad nuts.
We have mentioned before and would not hesitate it to revisit the issue of political interference in the work of the security agencies.
The most acceptable thing to do would have been for the deputy minister to leave the matter to the police to deal with, according to the dictates of their peculiar establishment.
The pandering to the whims and caprices of the deputy minister who virtually demanded immediate action from the police for the cops who dared him is too mean for a political system like Ghana's. We thought we have long passed this stage of cheap abuse of office. This is not good for the already below the average governance credentials of the Mills government.
As for the top hierarchy of the internal security organisation's tendency to always do the bidding of politicians, the case under review offers the opportunity for them to prove their loyalty to their political masters, regardless of how much this nibs at the professionalism of the police. God save the poor policemen and the country. We pray that they are thrown to the most distant part of the country as cops who step on the toes of politicians are sanctioned. The boys in the ranks are peeved and the repercussions are not good for law enforcement. We are watching.
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