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31.10.2012 Feature Article

THE OLD AND NEW FACES OF THE GHANA POLICE SERVICE – PART 1

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For the avoidance of doubt and for the information of the young police recruits and the new breed of generation who do not have access to this vital information about the inception of the profession and/or institution, but would care to know, because they would, one day in their lives, like to be part of the system, please see below, the list of the police hierarchy since its inception in 1924 by the Guggisberg governorship of the Gold Coast and their tenure of office. It is hoped that the younger generation would be pleased to read about it to enhance their intellectual capabilities. Please read on.

THE TOP HIERARCHY SINCE 1924
N A M E DATE OF APPOINTMENT
1. Mr. H.W.M. Bamford Aug. 08, 1924 - Jan.03, 1938 - British
2. Capt. Eric Nottingham 1 9 3 8 – 1 9 4 4 ”
3. Capt. R.W.H. Ballantyne 1 9 4 4 – 1 9 4 8 ”
4. Capt. P. Eckel 1 9 4 8 – 1 9 4 9 ”
5. Major M.K.N. Collens 1 9 4 9 – 1 9 5 7 ”
6. Mr. Arthur Lewin Alexander 1 9 5 8 - 1 9 5 9 ”
7. Mr. Erasmus Ransford Teye Madjitey -Oct.09, 1959- Jan.08,1964 - Ghanaian
8. Mr. J.W.K. Harlley – 1966-1969 – N.L.C. Mil. Admin. ”
9. Mr. Bawa Andani Yakubu - 1969-1971-Progress Party Admin.”
10. Mr. R. Dokyi Ampaw - June 14, 1971 - Jan. 13, 1972 ”
11. Mr. J.H. Cobbinah - Jan.13, 1972–1974-NRC Mil.Adm. ”
12. Mr. Ernest Arko - 1974 1978 – S.M.C.1 Mil.Admin. ”
13. Mr. B.S.K. Kwakye - S.M.C.2 Mil.Adm.- July 17, 1978 – June 04, 1979 ”
14. Mr. C.O. Lamptey - A.F.R.C. Mil.Junta - June 05, 1979 - Nov.2 7, 1979 ”
15. Mr. Fredua Poku Kyei - P.N.P. Admin. - Nov. 27, 1979 – Oct. 05, 1981 ”
16. Mr. I.K. Kugblenu - PNP/PNDC - Oct. 06, 1981- March 09, 1984 ”
17. Mr. S.S. Omane 1984 - 1986 – PNDC ”
18. Mr. C.K. Dewornu PNDC June 12,1986 - Oct. 31, 1989 ”
19. Mr. J.Y.A. Kwoffie PNDC/NDC - 1 9 9 0 - Sept. 3 0, 1 9 9 6 ”
20. Mr. Peter Nantonma Nanfuri Oct. 01, 1996-Jan.21,2001 NDC ”
21. Mr. Ernest Owusu Poku Jan.22,2001- July 31, 2002* NPP ”
22. Nana Owusu Nsiah NPP - Aug. 01,2002 -March 24, 2005 ”
23. Mr. Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong March 25,2005-Jan.27,2009 NPP ”
24. Elizabeth Millls-Robertson(Mrs.) (Acting) Jan.28, 2009 – May 15, 2009 ”
25. Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye - incumbent - May 16, 2 0 0 9 t o d a t e ”

DESIGNATION 
Prior to the appointment of Mr. E.R.T. Madjitey on October 9, 1959, his British predecessors were designated as Commissioners of Police. Initially, he too was designated as Commissioner of Police before later on, that he too was designated as the first Ghanaian Police top brass with the rank of Inspector General of Police by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's C.P.P. government of the First Republic. The research conducted by this junketing reporter about the police indicates that the Police Administration has two deputies with the ranks of Commissioners of Police in charge of Administration and Operations respectively. Currently, these two personalities are Ms Rose Bio Atenga for Administration with Mr. Kudalor in charge of Operations. Again, these three top notches have nine (9) other directors presumably with the ranks of Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCOPs) or some sort, who are assigned with the responsibilities of, or in charge of Administration, Operations, Special Duties, CID, Finance as Paymaster-General (Quarter Master), Medical, Legal, Logistics & Welfare, Training and Mechanical Transport & Traffic Unit. Furthermore, the IG has a personal or special aide who is styled as Staff Officer and carries the rank of not less than Assistant Commissioner of Police. However, special undercover investigations conducted by the writer reveals that the IG's position/rank could be likened to that of a lieutenant-colonel in the Army and not higher; so you can see that the other subordinate ranks down the lane i.e. COP/DCOP/ACP/Chief Supt./SUPOL/DSP/ ASP/Chief Inspector etc., should be majors, captains, lieutenants and sub-lieutenants in that descending order if they were in the army.

THE POLICE INSTITUTION
In reading this piece, you would notice that, more especially some police personnel, who still do not even know how that institution came about; it was during the tenure of Mr. H.W.M. Bamford as Commissioner of Police that one person was allowed to serve the longest; the much longest to have been occupied by any one person from the inception of police as stated elsewhere. Incidentally, it was also during the governorship of Sir Gordon Guggisberg that Gold Coast saw the major transformation in infrastructural development. History has it that his contemporaries, both prede -cessors and successors, could hardly match him – the reason being that he was visionary and this vision and ability to transform the tiny country at the time saw the construction of the Korle Bu Hospital in 1925, the Achmota College also in 1925, the Takoradi Harbour in 1927 and lots more, especially, the extension of the railway network in the country to accelerate the carting of minerals such as gold, diamond, manganese, bauxite and other raw materials up country to the harbour with ease. This development helped put the Gold Coast on an even keel and further up the economic pedestal to the envy of sister colonies along the west coast. His immense contribution to the success story of the economic development of the Gold Coast made us become an enviable economic entrepot in the West African sub-region where people from far and near came for education at the Achimota College, the Mfantsipim School, the Korle Bu Hospital for health delivery facility and the Takoradi Harbour to travel abroad (generally to Europe) for law and medical studies. While most of the expatriate top brass were easily appointed by the British Government on merit and academic prowess to help their respective Governors administer and maintain peace as well as enforce the strictest discipline and observance of human rights records in the Gold Coast, their Ghanaian counterparts mainly thought they had had a field day and slighted the performance of their positions to suit politicians and their personal interest. Most of them were, and still are, appointed to fill the positions just to do the dirty work for the government of the day. It should not be a surprise to notice that, many a times, such officials at the top echelon, compromised with their subordinates to use brute force to penalize or couch political opponents into submission, vis-à-vis the 'Culture of Silence' era. The ubiquitous, loud mouthed and 'Know All' Kwesi Pratt Jnr. is on record to have said many times that as many as 250 or more persons disappeared under some mysterious circumstances during the PNDC days in Rawlings Ghana and feared that they must have been exterminated and/or annihilated by that regime alone. Wild rumours later had it that some rich men who were opposed to that regime including, of course the military, were allegedly tied to ropes and hung to Air Force helicopters and dropped into the high seas, while the 'chief executioner and land strategist', Jack Bebli of blessed memory, was the hatchet man, who led the hit squad that did the dawn killings on the hills near the John Teye Memorial School on the Ofankor-Nsawam road. As for the Air Force Station in Accra, soldier friends say, it was a delight to watch Ghanaians being led there as if they were sheep for the slaughter. Any queries pertaining to the purported 250 disappeared countrymen/ women should be directed at Kwesi as he was still alive because, to him, this was an open secret.

THE DREADFUL DAYS OF PETER THE GREAT

The aftermath of both the 1979 revolutionary junta and the Holy War of 1981 saw the appointment and emergence of the dreadful Peter Nantonma Nanfuri, hitherto, the most fearsome personality after Capt. Rtd. Kojo Tsikata, the security capo of the PNDC, being recalled from the BNI top shot to be given a new lease as the police boss. His cruelty and diminutive figure was unparalleled; cruelty and torture meted out to one Kugblenu, very critical of that regime was such that one day he had portion his skin at the back cut and offered to him to eat while in custody. This account would not be denied by some surviving colleague inmates. That was the time that vociferous persons like the late Tommy Thompson of the Free Press and others met their fate and paid a priceless wage for civil liberty and media freedom with their lives against dictatorship, while the likes of Eben Quarcoo and others, never recovered from the shock of their lives. However, the writer stands for correction. That was the period that fine and brilliant journalists such as Yakubu Dadinkai of the Weekly Spectator and Ms Elizabeth Ohene of the Daily Graphic left the shores of Ghana and never to return except until the Kufuor Administration that Betty 'Clean' not the Gargantuan 'How dare they' resurfaced. Nobody actually knows about the fate of Yakubu anyway. The media today can now enjoy their total freedom; thanks to the Kufuor Administration for repealing the criminal libel law from our statutes books And this cruelty was administered to the hardened criminals and known political opponents to render them perpetually impotent and useless in society. Alleged injurious/poisonous injections were administered to paralyze notorious inmates and rich and known opponents of the regime. The torture of human beings was probablythe best and humane options for the inmates. The writer recollects when he was subjected to humiliation and scrutiny when he sent company cheques for the late Victor Owusu to sign for payments to creditors and salaries while in custody. Common signature to cheques was not permitted to be done for collection instantly but had to be delayed till the next day. The atrocities that were generally meted out to the inmates of the BINI cells were sufficient enough to send shivers down the spines of most Ghanaians; so when he became the IG, the mere announcement traumatized many people across the length and breadth of the country as a result of his cruelty and wickedness.

THE 1948 RIOTS
The administration of Capt. P. Eckel as Commissioner of Police, could not probably contain the wrath of the rioters and was, therefore, possibly compelled beyond the reasonable limits to authorize the trigger-happy police then on guard at the Rowe Road towards the entrance of Osu Castle to unleash the firepower from their weapons as self-defence to ward off the rioters. Since then, no other brute force was ever heard to be used or applied by the successive expatriate police top brass on the natives. However, apart from the unfortunate incident that claimed the lives of Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and others in the 1948 riots, history has never recorded any bizarre thing of the sort again. But unlike our own compatriot top police gurus, they have always been on collision course with their political bedfellows to cow us with the so called and undignified 'bestial instructions from above' to brutalize unarmed and harmless civilians. The Ghanaians do not bother whether the demonstrations were peaceful or not, whether they behaved themselves or not, pampering demonstrators was alien to them. Period! The moment, one came about with impudence to say we have “instructions from above”, that was it. Brute force was to follow, no matter the consequence and number of lives that may be lost; that did not really matter much to them. If a whole president after swearing an oath of office to defend the constitution at all times, could flout the constitutional requirement leading to impeachment on many occasions, why can't the police, who were regarded as small flies in the system, not be happy to emulate that shameful example and throw same to the dogs? Even though demonstrations of any kind have been boldly enshrined in our constitution, the police would not bother to care a hoot about it. As earlier pointed hinted, the show of brute force by the use of firearms, cannon balls, rubber bullets and hot water of some sort were unleashed and sprinkled onto demonstrators. To them, the indiscriminate use of tear gas of an unreasonable proportion has been the best treatment they had since applied after the Ohene Djan Stadium disaster of May 9, 2001.

WHO BORN DOG?
With courtesy to ex-president Rawlings, the writer would like to borrow portion of his words when he fumed at Ludwig Hlodze, the NDC national youth organizer, after news had reached him that he too once drove his car in and around Accra with police motorcade escorting him (a sole prerogative for only our Presidents and/or Heads of State). His fury and profuse anger were punctuated with the involuntary use of the pidgin English, 'Who born dog?' And it was only in the Paul Tawia Quaye's era that this nasty sight could be seen to develop. As readers continue with this piece, there could be more political opponents still languishing in jail or in the various police cells/custody across the country as a result of very trivial issues at the behest of the government. Silly, isn't it? Otherwise, how come that some three or more opponents have been in police custody since the last elections of 2008? They have just been relocated to the Accra Central cells. For whatever reason(s), one does not know nor could fathom. Why and would the police indulge in this unconstitutional incarceration till now, one may ask? Have they been relocated to come to polish the IGP's boots for him or Kobby's? Please do all you can to grab a copy from the news stand or the net to read the concluding part 2 for more intriguing and damning revelations about the modern day Ghana police service.

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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