No one has the right to attack Police station – Toobu

Wa West Member of Parliament, Peter Lanchene Toobu, has said said under no circumstance should any Ghanaian attack a Police station or government facilities anywhere in the country.

He explained that the facilities were built using the tax payers money therefore, attacking or destroying it means wasting public money.

Mr Toobu who is a retired Police officer was speaking on the Key Points on TV3 with Dzifa Bampoh, Saturday May 21 while commenting on the death of 27-year-old Albert Donkor in Nkoranza in the Bono East Region who was reported to have died in Police cell due to alleged Police assaults on his life.

He said “If our community Policing was working well, I am sure by now, we would have known that in the Nkoranza areas there is a particular person (sic) I know that in the Army there are a lot of from the Nkoranza area, I know that in the Police there are a lot of people from the Nkoranza area, I know that in the Ghana Bar Association there are people from the Nkoranza area.

“You can have one influential person in the Nkoranza area who can carry more weight than the soldiers and the Police put together in Nkoranza, whose voice would be heard loud and respected by the people of Nkoranza. Those are the type of people we engage when there is violence so we will be able to de-escalate the violence.

“There are number of things we can do behind the scenes not necessarily firing live bullets because one person died, the police responded, another person is dead again then you ask yourself, is this the way of de-escalating crowd.”

He added “That notwithstanding. I have repeated that no Ghanaian has the right to attack a Police station, no Ghanaian has the right to attack a government facility, district facility. After all, it is our money that has been used to build those facilities. Even as much as you are angry when you go to attack the police station, you are virtually telling yourself that yes, it is my money I used to build it and I am going to destroy it.”

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The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute for Security, Disaster and Emergency Studies, Dr Ishmael Norman also criticized the Ghana Police for the way and manner they control charged crowd in the country.

He said the whole mentality of the Police towards crowd control is wrong.

Also speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday May 21 he said “The whole mentality of the Ghana Police when it comes to crowd control, when it comes to citizens expressing their anger towards their government is wrong.

“The manual they are using is not meant for peaceful management or de-escalation of conflict between section of the public and towards Police station.

“The manual they are using is the Incident and Police Order Management Manuel. It is designed to provide direction and information to assist commanders, planners, advisors to prepare for and manage where there is risk. The whole point of this is false, you do not deal with citizens’ occasional outbursts towards their government to show their displeasure with this kind of manual.

‘What they need is Critical Incident Decision-making Module that will take them through, systematically, how you go about de-escalating the anger of the population against their government. They have a right to be angry towards their government, towards a Police unit that is not doing right things.”

Regarding this issue, the Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Professor Kwesi Aning, attributed the Police brutalities in Ghana to poorly trained persons who are recruited into the Police service due to their political affiliations to the party in government.

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Speaking on the News 360 on TV3 Wednesday May 18 in relation to the disturbances that occurred at Nkoranza, Prof Aning said “It is not just an unfortunate situation, it is criminal behaviour.”

He added …”I think we are reaping what we have sown. People who would ordinarily not qualified to be part of the Police service who have been brought in through political figures and who feel that they have political god-fathers outside the remit of the Police Service and therefore, they can misbehave and nothing would be done to them.

“I am really sorry to say, I have a message for them, something will be done to [them], [they] will be punished, [they] will be found out and if it means dismissal from the Police service you will be dismissed.”

A Criminologist at the Cambridge University, Professor Justice Tankebe has said Police brutalities in Ghana will not end so long as the men in uniform are not held accountable for their actions

Although he said the law permits the Police to use excessive force in bringing chaotic situations under control, they have to account for the excesses.

Speaking on the disturbances in Nkoranza in an interview with TV3’s Komla Adom on the mid day news Wednesday, May 18, he said “When we have public order situations and we send Police officers there fully armed, we should expect nothing but what we so often see, which is the killing of protestors. As long as we lack the institutional arrangement to hold officers to account, to minimize the use of excessive force, I am afraid there will be many more of such situations.”

He added “Do the Police have the legal rights sometimes to use deadly force? We will say, yes they do have that right. But what happens when they do that? I think what we have in Ghana is that anytime the Police have shot and killed civilians they suspected of being armed robbers we just accept the Police’s narrative that there was an intelligence-led action that resulted in the killing of armed robbers.

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“But we cannot have a democracy in which we simply accept the Police’s narrative especially where we have a history of some killings proving to be actually illegal.”

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) noted that deviant Police officers in Ghana are taking undue advantage of the absence of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to engage in brutalities in the country.

To that end, the CHRI said the Executive, Parliament and the Ministry of Interior need to urgently establish an IPCC for Ghana following the alleged killing of Albert Donkor in Nkoranza in the Bono East Region.

The IPCC would investigate such issues independently and not rely on the Ghana Police’s own internal investigations, which are hardly made public, according to the CHRI.

“Despite the consistent advocacy for the establishment of an IPCC since 2014, resulting in the development and submission of a framework in 2019 to the Minister of Interior, no action has been taken to establish the institution.

“The continued inaction on the part of the State to put in place the IPCC emboldens rogue elements in the Ghana Police Service to engage in such unfortunate and dastardly acts. The Government of Ghana is under a duty pursuant to the 1992 Constitution and the State’s international human rights commitments to give effect to human rights and justice by establishing such measures as the IPCC.

“There could be no sooner time to do this than now to prevent another needless death especially in light of recent similar incidents of reported deaths in police custody,” a statement issued by the CHRI said.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana


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