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31.10.2012 Feature Article

THE OLD AND NEW FACES OF THE GHANA POLICE SERVICE – PART 2

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Readers should be privileged to read more about this public institutIon for which the top echelon, together with their crack directors, mostly, technocrats, have tried unsuccessfully without any luck to make it a sacrosanct entity but not. It was therefore hoped that the readers will thus enhance their knowledge to know the stuff that they were made of. Please read on.

ASAMOAH BOATENG, PREGNANT WOMAN AND BNI CUSTODY

Do we still remember the Hon. Asamoah Boateng (Asabee) incarceration episode with the Yaw Donkor's BNI at the Kawokudi area that the Ghana Police, at their bestial best again, ordered for some reinforcement of Zombies and together with those present on duty on that fateful day, to unleash excessive tear gas to suffocate and disperse the irate crowd. In the end, it resulted in the death of one Maikankan of blessed memory. He fell unconscious and later died on the way to the hospital. The public would like to know as of date, how much compensation has been paid to his surviving wife and family. How much has also been paid to the surviving husband whose pregnant wife died mysteriously under Yaw Donkor's BNI roof while in custody? The moment that 'foolish' or loose statement of 'instructions from above' came from a 'ghost' superior, then they would quickly begin to revisit the Stone Age era antiques and start to behave like animals and kill their own fellow human beings. Do these same superior officers not travel at the expense of the taxpayer to train abroad and were advised to return home to practise what they had been taught or learnt? And Ghanaians know the number of instances that their unprofessional PR department has come out to defend this incivility and to later claim without an apology that it was stray bullet that caused the havoc, and that they had set up a police enquiry team to look into it. They only say that to end a long story short. The police should come out of their shell and tell us how much compensation they normally paid or dished out to the victim's families for this unfortunate incident (if and whenever an uncouth colleague deliberately/inadvertently killed a civilian) for their bestial action?

COMPENSATIONS TO VIDA OFORI AND ADJEI BARIMAH

The public ought to know how much they paid to the family of victims such as the late Vida Ofori of the I.P.S. who was shot dead by the police in cold blood on campus during student demonstrations and precisely while she was cooking at the dormitory during the mid-80s. Not only that but it should interest readers to note that one Adjei Barimah, then a student of the University of Ghana, was also shot dead on campus by the disgruntled and recalcitrant Legon police during student demonstrations. They should be bold to tell us how much was paid by the government. Could it be anywhere near the Kwesi Ofori's price tag of Gh¢2,000 for the Yamin's thugs in Kumasi? I suggest Madam Rose, honorary queen of the Ghana Police, would instruct the 'lies-infested' Cephas Arthur to lie between his teeth again and tell the whole wide world the reason that precipitated her memo that was sent to nullify Kwesi Ofori's ultimatum. Apart from the riots, there was virtually no other account of any such incident that ever happened while the British kept the top police portfolio.that historians wouldn't have sniffed to record or give an account of. The dastard incident of 1948 which has remained as history till today, resulted in the shooting of the within-named compatriots who died instantly; hundred other rioters and some of the angry mob also got maimed, while thousands severed limbs just for the sake of our generation and those yet unborn. That mob action of positive defiance by the indigenes, however, was to drum home to the British Government through the then governor that the country needed self-government at that moment no matter the loss of lives, limbs and property. In a way, the police have never had any PR spokesman with guts to speak his mind or tell the truth since the departure of ACP Awuntogobe Awuni.

POLICE BRUTALITIES 
On the contrary, since the inception of the police institution in 1924, there hasn't been any administration so fraught with brutalities, sheer bravado and atrocities such as the era of Peter Nanfuri's. While his premier expatriate predecessor H.W.M. Bamford's era witnessed much improved development and successes for the 'Ahenfie Police' as they were very often called, his tenure of office, rather, recorded the incarceration of thousands of Ghanaians languishing in jail and in police custody on the excuse of hearsay, envy, jealousy, pettiness et cetera. The lucky persons who could pull strings got wind about their arrest to flee the country into exile to save their lives. That was the fearsome era of Peter the Great who has now mellowed after superintending the torture of inmates at his BNI cells allegedly with electrical shocks to men's genital organs, etc. to become a traditional chief up north. No condition was therefore permanent. Furthermore, the most reneged and outstanding administration that has also witnessed inefficiencies, ineptitude and mysteries some of which try to beat human imagination and reasoning, was the Paul Tawia Quaye's that cocaine seized from drug barons; clinically and scientifically tested to prove positive; when it was later tendered in the courts for the determination of the drug case, miraculously turned out to be caustic soda – haaba! Madam DSP, are you there listening? Wonders, they say, would never, ever end in Ghana. The mystery surrounding the heavily guarded cocaine in police custody at the headquarters could only be unraveled by either the Scotland Yard of the UK or the FBI of the United States of America as to how it became caustic soda.

INTEGRITY
The author was not in any way trying to amplify matters or exaggerate for readers to impugn his integrity but Mr. Paul Quaye's tenure, per se, has greatly produced many, many unprecedented scenarios that the international police would take years to believe or comprehend. As for partisan parochial interest and bias towards political opponents, the least talked about it, the much better it would be to calm nerves. As regards carving a niche for his administration, please let us leave it for now and posterity. It should be a case study for students of history. The writer need not bother readers with the clue as there were more than a thousand and one incidents that go against his tenure – the Agbobloshie daylight butchery of political opponents that has now become the 'see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil' syndrome. The Cherepone bye election that nearly claimed lives of opponents but for the timely presence and intervention of Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the world acclaimed heart surgeon who was right on sight at the spot to rush the wounded from the accident scene to the Yendi Hospital to remove the pellets, they would have been dead now. Curiously enough, if no news regarding the snatching of bidding box by NDC foot-soldiers at Wa ever reached his official desk in Accra for action; what about the other foot-soldiers who gave a deadly chase to the Ashanti Regional Minister, who, ran away and left half pair of his shoes at Effiduase-Asokore? To continue to hammer the inaction of his administration towards the proverbial contract killing involving opponents from the other side of the coin such as Messrs Appenteng, NPP sympathizer and Opoku, NPP's Vice Chairman of the Dome Kwabenya constituency respectively, will forever be an indelible mark and imprint on his administration. The Police confrontations with harmless civilians and students needing to go on peaceful demonstrations have always been thwarted by his kingdom with the excuse 'due to some constraints and unforeseen circumstances beyond their control, were unable to give protection etc. just to frustrate such demonstrators. These and many more, of course, were the signs of ineptitude of Paul's Ghana Police and not until the service shied away from total partisan politics, they would not be accorded with any international recognition whatsoever.

DECLARATION OF JIHAD 
To talk about the Akwatia bye election for only 6 polling stations for which Baba Jamal had declared the Holy Jihad there as a no-go area for the opposition NPP, was as clear as broad daylight. Baba's show of force as the then contesting NDC's parliamentary candidate was plainly supported by Paul Quaye's police personnel on duty. There has been any change for the better since then and continues to be worse off every other day. Fellow countrymen/ women, if you had been permanently resident in Ghana since January 7, 2009 to date, you need no rocket scientist (not even the most celebrated late Dr. Moustapha of the Neurology Department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital) to work on your brain to know the answer because any policeman who dared sing praises in support of the NPP would be penalized with a transfer to the Bunkpurugu Yunyoo area to teach the one a lesson. All the cynical crimes committed by the Eric Opokus and the Kwabena Nyamekye Marfos from the Brong Ahafo Regional office vying for parliamentary slots; the Nii Lante Vanderpuyes of the Odododioodioo constituency fame or infamy; the Collins Daudas of the Ahafo Ano constituency biometric registration infamy, the Yamins of the private police recruitment in Ashanti to molest political opponents have passed without any arrest and/or prosecution. While the Atiwa bye election implicated the NDC national women organizer, Anita de Sosoo, Paul Quaye's police never saw anything wrong to cause her arrest for a report to be made for running over some crowd and maiming a couple of them. Even though limbs were broken and others hospitalized, but Paul never was briefed nor informed about anything till today that you read this piece.

NOMENCLATURE
The latest indefensible person to join the chronology of events was the Yaw Boateng Djan's voice recorded on tape case. No doubt the voice on tape clearly incriminates him and for which he cannot extricate himself nor absolve himself from blame and/or treasonable offence. This particular case of great magnitude, has no meaning in Paul's nomenclature and daily schedule. As brilliant as he was in law, he still sees nothing wrong that has been blindly supported with impudence by the national security co-ordinator. If he persists to see nothing wrong, his 4-year mandate as the Inspector-General would definitely go down in Ghana's history as the top brass whose reign had the occupant's hands strongly tied at the back by the government to behave abnormally and unprofessionally. Someone who has unconstitutionally recruited police/military personnel illegally with funding from the public purse by the 'Yoomo be Ga' Minister of Finance, Dr. 'Abrantee' Kwabena Dufuor to harass opponents before, during and after the election has passed the test of time without being brought to book by your administration. You could run away but not be able to hide, its clearly an indictment on your family and the indelible mark that would be visible cannot be erased. Ironically, to date, no Station Diary from any police post from the four corners of Ghana has bothered to forward this criminal act for his attention nor submitted information on it to his desk for further action. Incidentally, he rather found pleasure and delight to authorize the arrest and incarceration of Hon. Kennedy Agyapong and the little-fly-in-the-system, Ernest Owusu Bempah of Fonkar fame. Don't you consider your actions and inactions as a top police officer of a country like Ghana as very shameful and disgraceful to your person and to international policing in general? In a nutshell, there were so many negative points and demerits that could be enumerated the most notable amongst them being the continued retention of the D.S.P. Hamza Yakubus and the Hamidus who have since retired but were still being propped up by you and asked to wear uniforms to work and to enjoy their emoluments/salaries as if they were not pensioners. Are these the only fine and brilliant officers who could be retained as against the backdrop of other colleagues? Your integrity should be maintained and considered as of paramount interest to save your reputation. 

INTRANSIGENCE
The intransigent nature and/or obstinate stance taken up by the incumbent Paul clearly amplifies the author's axiom/theorem that he was bent on doing the dirty work for his paymaster – JM – to win by hook or crook the impending elections with or without foul means with his lieutenants the Police 'Queen of Sheba', DCOP Rose Bio Atenga and the Hamza Yakubus and the Hamidus providing fresh balls as ball boys from the touchlines when the one on the field of play was kicked out of play into the stands. If this trio ably ensures that the hatchet plan works to perfection and unconscionably supported on the flanks by another tribesman, DCOP Patrick Timbila, the Accra Regional Commander, and the over-aged Dr. Afari Djan, the Electoral Commissioner, now believed to be ?73, then, the saying that the sweetness of the pudding indeed, is in the eating, comes into play i.e. the Akan version nicely translated would then be – 'na wode bankye abo nngo mu' (hotly boiled cassava has always been a nice delicacy if it is eaten with palm oil).  

COMPARISON
The tenure of H.W.M. Bamford witnessed very tremendous, fantastic and very remarkable change(s) in the transformation of the service, as well as instilling strict discipline into the corporate body. The tenure of compatriots Nantonma Nanfuri and Tawia Quaye ensured that the police profession was jeopardised and turned upside down. If Peter's shrewd administration was tainted with crude, cruel, wicked and unparalleled performance, then Paul's tenure could equally be said to be smeared with the highest corruption index ever recorded. The unprintable as well as unthinkable allegiance to the government was unprecedented and their alliance with the party in power was unalloyed. Quite apart from the nasty incident of 1948 riots that history would never forgive and forget the British for killing and maiming some of our countrymen/women somehow, the Nanfuri's Administration would, perhaps, go down in the annals of the country as the most notorious, dreadful and atrocious and naturally unprintable that could, without doubt, and most probably, be akin to the Dark Ages lifestyle. Life in Ghana under Nanfuri was entirely based on the survivor of the fittest. Left off the hook back home, the name Peter associated with the police sent bad and shrill signals to the entire citizenry as the most outstanding abnormal performance for atrocities, brutalities, unparalleled blood-thirsty and unprecedented blood-letting public institution that Ghana has ever had. The excesses were such that not many people would like to hear his name again for once. The mention of his name was not as easy like cutting cheese with hot knife. It wasn't as easy as mentioning the name of Muamar Gaddafi of Libya or Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo while in any of these two countries and getting away with it in freedom. You would be swiftly whisked away for chemical interrogations by the security personnel to the cells for indefinite incarceration. One had to be careful to look beyond his shoulders before talking; whether that remark was against the government or in favour of the government. Such was the man and how he administered his little police kingdom. Many people even thought he would like to die in the service just as greedy politicians did while in power, but, has sunk into the oblivion. but a more powerful system threw him out to the oblivion. His colleague critics could not have better described him as the IG whose official cap would not fit him correctly until after he had left them.  

PAUL THE 'LATE-COMER'
Coming to the turn of Paul Tawia Quaye, the late-comer (Paul ammma ntem, sene adikanfoo) i.e. (Paul, the late-comer of the apostles, showed his prowess to prove his ingenuity to be the prolific author of many books of the New Testament in the Bible), the least commented about his administration, the much better it would be for us all to have our perpetual peace. The rest belongs to history. You'd notice that his tenure has been embroiled in hooliganism, thuggery, intolerance et cetera. The service personnel be it male or female, have been fraught with connivance with drug barons to enrich themselves; to master the art of ensuring that cocaine turned to caustic soda. This and many more including personnel from the CID openly requesting bribes from persons wanting to bail suspects from the cells have been the specialty of the current administration. His administration could not easily boast of anything better than being the bedmate of the Mills-Mahama government; his subordinate officers as special cadres who could best be described as the Zacchaeus of old. One really wonders why till now, he has not decided to dump the police garbs and put on the party paraphernalia to be at rally grounds with the NDC. The purported supply of arms to wrong-doers and criminals in society in return for their share of the booty has been very rampant and prevalent that it cannot be disputed by Team Tawia Quaye. The indiscriminate use of weapons to humiliate harmless civilians, you name it, has been the daily routine schedule nationwide by his men in uniform. Mr. Paul Quaye has allowed his outfit to be so easily infiltrated and conscientized by politicians to such an unimaginable level that the public has entirely lost confidence in the policeman. The kind of tutorials received by the incumbent from government has made the police intolerable without provocation. The partisan stake in the JM2 administration was unprecedented as compared to or with his Ghanaian predecessors.

PECULIAR INCIDENT
The personnel from the crime units unashamedly request for bribes before they work and the least talked about their colleague prosecutors at the courts, the much better it would be. A similar peculiar incident happened in my presence at the Accra Central crime office one Saturday, September 8, where the station crime officer, whose name did not matter much to me but has the inscription 'chief inspector' at his door post, had tasked his subordinate detective officer, believed to be a corporal or at best a sergeant, to bargain with friends/relatives who had gone there to bail two suspects to pay Gh¢400.00. Do the police now levy charges/or fees before one could bail a suspect? The time was 16.58 hours G.M.T. Then again in my presence, one Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at Circuit Court 1 or 2 – Cocoa Affairs Division in Accra, one detective crime officer, believed to be in his late thirties and would either be a corporal or sergeant, was sighted openly bargaining with a certain woman (that I later learnt to be a widow) to give him and his colleague prosecutor some unearned GH¢400.00 to drop off a criminal case for which the complainant had written to the court to discontinue with it to settle amicably at home. Well, if their M.T.T.U. counter -parts would not stop their daily disgraceful act of collecting Cedi Gyatos from recalcitrant and offending motorists nicely concealed in vehicle documents, (mind you, they collect Gh¢5.00 or more nowadays depending on whether driver was for normal commercial passenger/cargo vehicle, private, sand and stone tipper truck or articulator truck) what do you expect them to do? How do you expect them to live and be able to cope with the unprecedented prevailing hardships? That was Paul's police administration for you.

MISPLACED PRINCIPLES
One was really at a loss as to whether the leadership was someone who was a legal luminary and indeed a holder of an Executive Master's degree in Business Administration. I shudder to ask this and plead that readers would ask 'Why the sudden record taking of police voters' identity cards nationwide? Shameful and disgraceful, isn't it? Readers should help the writer with a clue as to whether anybody would ever bequeath to, or leave his multi-million business entity into the hands of such an unprincipled person to manage for profits. Could it be a truism that he and his bunch of 'yes sir, master' team have been promised some higher or prestigious ambassadorial positions or perks on retirement to do the dirty work for the government of the day? Discerning minds cannot really fathom why he has chosen to stray from professionalism to doing politics.tread the path of unprofessionalism. The role he has played and continues to play simply shows open bias towards the opposition and common sense suggests that it was only absurdity that could lead persons to that level of conscience. It does not augur well for him to illustrate his position like the ostrich. 

HUMOUR
The writer would like to know whether DCOPs Agor and Kudalor were still at post as service persons or pensioners. How come that a pensioner who, sort of outlived his usefulness, should be tasked to recruit freshers and relegate the resourceful service personnel to the background? And if, indeed, Mr. Kudalor, who handled a case involving the author's friend's case as far back as 1988 supposedly was 38 years old with the rank of an ASP, then, what should be his age now to be still enjoying the freebies as Director-General of Operations? Do Ghanaians quite And to Hamza Yakubu, are you the only officer talented with expertise in the handling of armoured car to necessitate your retention, or some application of ethnicity was at play here? Students of statistics and calculus should come to my aid or failing which DNA test should be conducted to correct this anomaly and injustice. Do people remember the shameful scenario in respect of Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng's exit from the Korle Bu Hospital and authorized by Mr. Yieleh Chireh's shameful act, then Minister of Health, catapulted the instantaneous, and automatic but quiet resignation of Mrs. Newman (wife of the Chief of Staff) who was also 4 years over aged) from the Ghana Medical School at Korle Bu. Which of the two was more disgraceful?

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – If the Deputy Minister S.O.A once had the guts and impudence to call the bluff of the Rawlingses to say they needed some psychiatric and diagnosis tests meaning, it was imperative a neurologist and psychiatric expert should work on their brains, and went away with it without a hoot, would he be prepared to be sued by the founder and wife for same remark now that he was also at the heels of Hon. Kennedy Agyapong in court for damages of Gh¢500m for defamation of character? I drop my case.

By:[email protected]
The author is a student of research on contemporary Ghanaian History and stands for correction while the statement of facts enumerated in this context were not meant to impugn anybody's integrity and credibility with all pleasure.

Kofi Appiah
Kofi Appiah, © 2012

The author has 66 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: KofiAppiah

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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