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04.03.2005 General News

Corruption in selection of peacekeepers

By Chronicle
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TENSION IS steadily building in the Ghana Police Service following allegations of corruption in the selection of police officers for the African Union (AU) peace mission in Sudan.

Chronicle has gathered that some officers that were tasked to supervise the selection process of the officers for the AU mission have allegedly turned the process into a lucrative business for generating quick money for their selfish interest.

Chronicle has learnt that some of the officers who did not undergo the selection process of the AU mission have their names mysteriously included in the shortlisted men for the mission.

Again, a number of officers who failed at the first stage of the recruitment process, which was a driving test, had their names in the final list through the back door.

Also, another batch that failed or was dropped at the second and third phases of the process, had also managed to get selected, whilst a number of officers, who had genuinely qualified in all the three categories of the course, were dropped.

The officers who had been short-changed have called on the Inspector General of Police, Nana Owusu Nsiah and Papa Owusu Ankomah, the Minister of Interior, to promptly set up a board of enquiry to investigate the matter and call for the examination records of all the 50 officers, who had been shortlisted for the AU mission in Sudan.

However, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of United Nations operations, Mr. F. K. Agyemang, in an interview, dismissed the allegations as untrue and said they were being made by the police officers that failed in the examinations.

He challenged the police officers that were behind the allegations to come forward and give evidence on the allegations.

He cautioned that such allegations could dampen the hearts of the officers that were tasked by the IGP to supervise the examination, because they were not given any honorarium for the work.

It all started when AU requested for 150 police officers from Ghana for its mission in Sudan to help restore peace to that country.

In the process, about 400 police officers applied to undertake the mission. In order to sieve the chaff from the wheat, ACP Kudalor, ASP Ameyaw Nyamekye, ASP Adane Mensah and DSP Twumasi formed the core of the instructors of the selection team, with Mr. Agyemang as an overall boss.

Chronicle gathered that since it was the criteria for any police officer attending peace missions, such as this, to have experience in driving and speak good English, on February 16 and 17, last month, ASP Nyamekye, took the officers through the driving practicals during which a number of the applicants were disqualified and dropped, because they could not meet the required standard.

After the driving stage, all those who passed were promoted to the second and final stages of the selection process. These two stages comprised two written English papers. The first consisted two comprehension passages with eleven questions, whilst the final paper was a note-taking followed by questions from the instructor.

At both stages, candidates were told they needed to obtain 50% or more marks, to be selected.

ASP Adane Mensah, on February 18 handled the comprehension section after which 150 officers were to be short-listed for the mission.

On February 19, this year, around 2pm DSP Twumasi released the final result to the applicants. Thus, officers knew their fate before they left to their various destinations.

“But after going through the selection process blameless, it came as a surprise to a number of us when the final list was released most of us had our names missing while officers who never showed up in the selection process had been short-listed for the mission,” an officer who pleaded anonymity told the paper.

The paper learnt that some officers, who passed the selection process but were mysteriously sidelined, stormed the police headquarters last week to enquire the rationale behind the injustices meted out to them.

After persistent demands, they were made to do something after which their names have re-emerged on the final list.

Some of the officers who spoke to the paper were of the view that gradually financial considerations had come to replace competence and intelligence in the recruitment of police service peace mission officers.

Further, Mr. Agyemang said all the allegations were nothing to go by because the police administration did everything possible to avoid favouritism.

He said the AU only tasked them to select 150 people but in order to avoid favoritism the police administration, in its own discretion, decided to task all regional commanders to select their participants, so that they would undergo an examination.

He noted that initially the police decided to set the pass mark for the examination at 50% but because of the number of people that they were asked to select, they raised the pass mark to 60%.

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