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06.07.2005 Tabloid News

Minister Grabs Bribe Taker

Minister Grabs Bribe Taker

...Cop in deep trouble ...Throws bribe into 'bush bank'

Chronicle -- Drama unfolded at the Inchaban barrier, near Sekondi, in the Western Region, last Friday when a police constable allegedly threw into the bush an alleged bribe he had taken from a 'trotro' driver when the minister for the Interior, Papa Owusu Ankomah, who saw the whole action, invited the constable to his vehicle, which was then following the 'tro-tro' vehicle.

A source privy to the whole drama told the Chronicle that during the day in question the minister was travelling from Accra to his Sekondi constituency, and, as the law demands, he stopped at the barrier for the normal routine check by the police.

The 'tro-tro' vehicle, which was in front of the minister's car, was the first to be stopped by the constable.

The source further told the Chronicle that immediately the 'tro-tro' vehicle stopped, the constable moved closer to the driver and after a brief chat the police man was handed money which he readily accepted and asked the driver to drive on.

Unknown to him, the Landcruiser following the 'tro-tro' was that of the Interior Minister, who has been preaching against bribe-taking by the police.

Papa Owusu Ankomah then gently rolled down the side screen of his car and beckoned the police officer to come, which he responded but immediately he saw that the gentleman in the car was no other person than the interior minister, he made a quick detour through the back of the car and threw away the money into the bush.

Papa Owusu Ankomah, who was surprised about the behaviour of the driver, asked his bodyguard to call him immediately.

The constable this time responded but he vehemently denied that he had taken a bribe from the 'tro-tro' driver, knowing very well that he had deposited the money in the nearby “bush bank.” The minister, who was surprised about the sudden denial by the constable, drove to the inspector in charge of the barrier and asked him to investigate the matter and where possible take the necessary disciplinary action against the offending constable.

When the Regional Police Commander, Mr. Duku Arthur, was contacted on telephone, he denied knowledge about the alleged bribe-taking, saying nothing of that sort had been brought to his attention.

The interior minister however confirmed the story when this reporter contacted him at his office in Accra yesterday.

The minister, who was surprised about how the Chronicle got hint of the story, since the whole drama lasted for just about two minutes, said he had instructed the inspector in charge of the barrier to carry out thorough investigations into what he himself saw and take the necessary action against the said police constable.

The minister noted that the alleged bribe-taking by some of the policemen were denting the image of the entire police service, and therefore called on the public to be on the alert and report any police officer who takes money from a driver or from any other source without any justification to the top officers in the district.

He said if the senior officers failed to take action the person could report directly to him in Accra.

He warned the public not to confront the offending officers but quietly take down their service numbers and report to their superiors.

He vowed to weed out the bad nuts from the service and therefore called on the public for support.