Dear Mr Asante-Apeatu,
I am publishing this open petition for your attention following my empirical observation of the blatantly shameless and unprofessional attitudes by the Motor and Transport Union (MTU) Police on the stretch of the highway road between Ejisu Krapa and Kwamo in the Ashanti region.
On the 13 March 2019, I was travelling from Kumasi to Kumawu but on board an Asante-Effiduase passenger bus. On reaching a point in the Accra-Kumasi highway, precisely between Ejisu Krapa and Kwamo, there was this group of MTU Police Officers on the road flagging down the passing by cars or vehicles.
A male police officer wearing a white top with a green high visibility jacket on, a pair of black trousers and black shoes and of a medium build did approach the bus I was on after they had signalled it to stop. The driver removed something of the nature of a driver’s licence wallet from his bus and flipped a note of Ghana Cedi denomination inside it. He handed it to the police officer as he approached our bus. The officer pulled aside, removed the money and handed the wallet back to the driver.
As he signalled our bus to move on, I questioned the police officer saying, “You are a law enforcement agent, right? How do we stop extortion, bribery and corruption in the country if you, as a law enforcement officer, are taking bribe? For what reason have you taken money from the driver, please do tell me?” He responded by saying, “don’t be stupid, shut up” (“Kwasea, ka wano tumu”). I replied him saying, “You must be ashamed of yourself. You are a disgrace to Ghana and your profession”. He kept raining insults on me but I maintained my grounds. Finally, the bus moved away.
On my return journey to Kumasi on 15 March 2019, travelling on another bus, either the same group of officers or another was on the road at the same area stopping vehicles and collecting money from the drivers.
On Friday, 22 March 2019, I was returning from Kumawu after an hour visit to check on certain vital issues. Again, these police officers were on the road stopping and taking bribes from drivers. A passenger bus ahead of the one I was travelling on was pulled aside and approached by a female police officer. I could see the driver hand her something of the usual driver’s licence wallet. The officer removed the money and handed the wallet back to the driver and signalled him to move on. This time around, the bus I was travelling on was not stopped.
From my own practical observations and witnesses’ statements as orally obtained from my colleague-passengers, the police officers are constantly there doing nothing but taking bribes.
Mr Inspector General of Police, how do you envisage helping His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo fight to curtail, if not to uproot, corruption, from Ghana if your police officers are misconducting themselves by openly shamelessly taking bribes as if it was their right?
You may not be aware of your MTU Police officers on the Ghana roads audaciously taking bribes but here is a case that I have conveyed to your attention and precisely indicated where your officers are forcing drivers to give them bribes. I am yet to see your reaction on this complaint against the MTU Police officers on the Ejisu-Krapa-Kwamo road.
I cannot comprehend how and why the police officers should mount constant vehicle checks on such a busy highway only to collect bribes. They do not check for faults on the vehicles. They do not check to see if the drivers have all the necessary documents on their vehicles and they have the licence to drive the vehicles. They are not there to check for criminals like armed robbers or contraband goods on the vehicles. What are they there for; to collect bribes from the drivers?
Why should the police officers be allowed to take bribes all of the time while their despicable action does to some extent contribute to the numerous fatal vehicular accidents on Ghana roads?
It is not right for the MTU Police officers to constantly move along the specified stretch of road mounting vehicle checks with the aim and objective of collecting bribes from the drivers.
I am going to publish a series of articles on this and may eventually escalate it to the office of the President should the unnecessary extortionist mounting of road/vehicle checks on the Ejisu-Krapa-Kwamo road by the MTU Police officers continue.
How do we successfully fight corruption if the police officers themselves are the masterminds and orchestrators of that very obnoxious and criminal act?
I feel persuaded that unless we report such instances/occurrences of police corruption to the appropriate quarters for action to be taken against the perpetrators, the President’s determined quest to fight corruption will only become a political gimmick. No wonder that corruption is rather ramifying and gaining strength in Ghana at the moment, if the police officers to check against the canker are themselves the perpetrators of the very disgusting and unlawful act.
I promise on my honour to ensure that the needed action is taken against the MTU Police officers on the Ejisu-Krapa-Kwamo stretch of the Accra road.
Mr IGP, I should have conveyed this to your attention whilst I was in Ghana but for my personal safety and protection, I had to wait until I had returned to the UK.