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06.02.2006 General News

Police Takes Sides; Tear Opposition Posters

By The Insight

Uniformed policemen and activists of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) went wild on Friday, February 3, 2006 tearing down anti-ROPAB posters in Accra. The armed policemen tore posters which read, “Final warning…Let Us Stop NPP Government's Madness On The Representation of People Amendment Bill. (ROBAP) Posters around “Paloma were also torn by the combined team of NPP activists and police personnel.

The use of the police for this exercise raises questions about the neutrality of the Ghana Police Service especially since the new Inspector-General of Police assumed office. Early in his administration, the IGP, Mr. Patrick Acheampong justified the detention of a TV Africa crew at the private residence of the President.

He said if the crew had been arrested in the Rawlings era, they would have been given 'an identification haircut. By extension, the IGP is asking Ghanaians to be content with the situation in which media personnel are detained without being given identification haircuts. Two weeks ago, the police also invited the Editor of The Lens newspaper to assist in investigations into an allegation that top security personnel were involved in a plot to assassinate former President Jerry John Rawlings.

The allegations had been published in the Lens. Interestingly, a few days earlier, some pro-Government newspapers had also published an allegation that Mr. Rawlings was involved in a plot to assassinate Dr. Obed Asamoah, former National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The police did not invite the pro-Government newspapers to assist it in an investigation into the alleged plot to assassinate Dr. Asamoah. Many police watchers are becoming increasingly alarmed at the clearly partisan role of the police service under Mr. Acheampong. When the Insight contacted Mr. Oware, Divisional Commander at the Nima Police Station whose men were involved in the exercise he refused to comment. He said that they had received instructions from Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the police service to carry out the exercise. He asked The Insight to contact the CID headquarters for explanations.

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