The Government is to provide police officers with body cameras to give them minute-by-minute accounts of what each personnel is doing, Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery has announced.
He said: “In the past, we have had cases; where it is the case of the Police against the civilian. We are saying no, we are going to make sure that we have accountability for police activities, and we are doing that.”
Mr Dery made the statement at a news conference in Parliament House in Accra in response to queries by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority Caucus in Parliament on the current state of insecurity in Ghana in the wake of the economic meltdown.
Mr James Agalga, Ranking Member for the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, had said at an earlier news conference by the Minority Caucus that their attention had been drawn to an exposé by Mr Kelvin Taylor, a Ghanaian journalist based in the United States, which suggested the recruitment and training of mercenaries by Government operatives based at the Jubilee House, the seat of Government of Ghana in Accra.
The said recruitment, the Minority Caucus observed, was to cause chaos and mayhem in the country and blame the political opposition.
Mr Dery noted that he could say on authority that the Ghana Police Service was a service that had been impacted by the retooling and retraining led by the current Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr George Akuffo Dampare, adding that, their activities were professional.
He said under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Government and appointees had been arrested by the police whenever they thought there was something wrong and had gone through due process.
He said the Police were now going according to the rules and that Government appointees, Chief Executives as well as Members of Parliament (MPs), who flouted the laws were being arrested by the Police; saying “The police operate completely based on the rule of law and are not manipulated by the Executives”.
He said recruitment of people into the security agencies had been advertised in the state dailies and there had been applications and they had gone through the processes.
“And the Minority is aware that we haven’t seen that kind of transparency before. There is no merit at all that people are recruited based on their party colours.
No. It is not happening and anybody that has evidence with that should come forward and I will address it,” Mr Dery said.
He reiterated that promotions within the Ghana Police Service were based on merit; declaring that “the present IGP was the most senior Police officer who was appointed.
He added: “And so far, I believe all Ghanaians can testify of the fact that he is performing his professional duties.”
Touching on Mr Taylor’s allegation, the Minister said there was no basis for such an allegation.
“This is the Government that believes in due process. Yes. The Government or the Party has declared it wants to ‘break the eight,’ the only way we can ‘break the eight’ is through an election and not through some allegation of emergency. How does that ‘break the eight’?
You ‘break the eight’ when you go to the polls,” he said.
He said President Akufo-Addo was committed to stepping aside and abiding by the decision of the nation by the voters.
Concerning outstanding cases that were still under investigation, the Minister said the Ghana Police Service had reorganised itself and had established what they called Cold Cases Department to make sure that every case does not die.
“We are still investigating, and we invite any Ghanaian or any person who has information to bring it to us. There is no limitation on criminal cases,” he said.
He assured Ghanaians that the police were working hard to make sure that whoever breaks the law would be brought to book.
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