Police Service is untouchable club people join to protect themselves – Nkoranza South MP

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The Member of Parliament of Nkoranza South whose constituency is going through disturbances over the alleged murder of 27-year-old Albert Donkor and the subsequent shooting of Victor Owusu, 19 years, described the Ghana Police Service as a powerful and an untouchable club.  

Emmanuel Kwadwo Agyekum said in interview on 3FM’s Sunrise show that “the police is a club that you join to protect yourself. The members of the club can ride an unlicensed motor bike without a helmet and yet arrest another motor rider with a registered bike but no helmet.

“I want to see one instance in which a police officer has been held responsible for shooting a person to death. I have never seen one. Let’s test the law to see what will happen to the police for shooting to kill an unarmed civilian. Should they go free or is there a law?”

He confirmed that the police after firing live bullets at the crowd who were registering their displeasure against the alleged murder of Albert Donkor tried to collect all the bullet shells in order to hide evidence but he has also managed to gather a few for evidence sake.

The MP emphasized that, ensuring the police who killed two of his constituents are punished will help curb the unwarranted extra-judicial killings by the police in Ghana.

Mr Agyekum alleged that the police delegation in Nkoranza was more interested in intimidating the people of Nkoranza not to continue with their demand for justice.

“We are dealing with a very powerful unit in Ghana. It is a very powerful club, a club that when you join you will be protected. Very powerful people we are dealing with and in fact I don’t think anybody has won a case against them because they are the only people that can prosecute criminal cases in Ghana”.

He added that it because of the power the police wield that is why they were able to pick Albert Donkor from his house to police custody and later shoot him to death and allege he was an armed robber and engage in gun exchange with them; when actually when the picked him from his house, he had no gun.  

On this same matter, 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 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.

“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.

By Samuel Afriyie Owusu|3news.com|Ghana

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