Amend the constitution to make us more independent

The Ghana Police Service has expressed concerns about the composition of its Council.

According to the service, the representatives on the Council are mainly appointees of the President, a situation which cripples their independence and professionalism.

The Service said the situation is inhibiting its ability to clamp down on the activities of vigilante groups.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) on political vigilantism, the Director of Transformation Programmes Office of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Benjamin Agordzor called for the de-politicization of the Council to enable the Police Service to work objectively without interference.

While quoting the existing laws that govern the composition of the police council, he said, “the Inspector General of the Police shall be head of the Police Service but shall be subject to the provision of the article and to the control and direction of the Police Council. Who is in the Police Council? It’s headed by the Vice President, who is also a party member and a member of the government.”

The IGP, David Asante-Appeatu
Inspector General of Police, David Asante Apeatu

“What kind of advice do you expect from him?” he quizzed.

ACP Benjamin Agordzor indicated that the phenomenon of political vigilantism, which seems to have become rooted in the country’s democracy, can be dealt with by introducing term limits for persons appointed as Inspector General of Police as well as constituting an independent police commission that will replace the current police council.

“So there is the need for constitutional amendment and I propose that if we really want a long term solution to this vigilantism, one major thing is that the IGP must be appointed for a fixed term with approval of parliament to exercise independent control. There is the need for an independent police service commission to replace the current police council,” he said.

Police Council responsible for police’s unprofessionalism

Security analyst, Dr Kwesi Aning earlier this year accused the Police Council of failing in its work. He said instead of championing crucial reforms at the Police Service, the Council has come to be characterised by demotion and promotion – often influenced by outside meddling.

He said this position by the council can be blamed for the unprofessional conduct of Police officers in the country.

Akufo-Addo inaugurates Police Council

President Akufo-Addo in July 2017 inaugurated the Police Council.

The council is Chaired by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. Other members are the Minister for the Interior Ambrose Dery; Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Gloria Akufo and the Inspector General of Police, David Asante Apeatu, all persons who were appointed by President Akufo-Addo.

The other members are Justice Kusi-Minka Premo of the Ghana Bar Association, COP Kwasi Nkansah, representing the Retired Senior Officers Association, COP James Oppong- Boanuh, for Senior Rank Officers of the Ghana Police Service, Inspector Richard Wetteh Weiking, for Junior rank officers and two Presidential nominees, Hadih Alhassan Bin Salih and Cecilia Eguaku.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

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