My recent interaction with some members of the Odokor Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID), has left me wondering if the Ghana Police Service as an institution, ever learnt any lessons from the many shocking revelations about the unlawful conduct of some members of the security agencies, that came to light, during the sittings of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), years ago – and if it did, whether those lessons have been incorporated in the training of your officers, nationwide.
Whatever be the case, Sir, you must move quickly to ensure that the members of the Odorkor Police CID are given a crash course in modern-day policing in a multi-party democracy, as soon as it is practicable to do so – if some of them are also not to appear before a similar body, years hence: going forward into the future. I was shocked by the breathtaking arrogance of a number of the officers, that I personally interacted with. One got the distinct impression that they had little regard for the poor – who as you know, constitute the bulk of those in society, who end up having to interact with those little Nazis: who appear to routinely manipulate the criminal justice system with such impunity, and seem to think are a law unto themselves. Their rudeness is simply beyond belief.
Listening to some members of the public (who were waiting to see the Odorkor Police CID and were sitting under a tree directly opposite the charge-office), I heard the story of a suspect in a rape case detained there, who I gather had been locked up in the cells of the Gbawe Police and the Odokor Police, for more than the statutory 72 hours clearly spelt out in our constitution. Apparently, he is a lad of 18 who defiled a girl of 14 – and the victim’s parent is said to be demanding GHC1000 to drop the case: and he is presumably being kept in there until his poor family cough up the GHC 1000. The question is: How come that that can be countenanced in what is supposed to be a constitutional democracy? Even I, who is neither senile nor a complete ignoramus about the law, was threatened by a lady detective – who had the gall to tell me that she did not want to "have a bad day" and would charge me for insulting all of them, if I persisted in insisting that my driver was seen to. It appears that, somehow, they feel they are above civilians – who should be like whimpering dogs: crouching with their tails between their tails, when in their presence.
Naturally, outraged by such disrespect and power-drunkenness, I was not having any of their arrogant impudence, in assuming that this was some kind of police state – in which civilians had to cower before police officers. Sir, at the very least, you must demand that all your officers treat the public with the utmost respect at all material times – and be tolerant of people, who after all, more often than not are under severe stress, when they appear before them in police stations countrywide. The idea that even I, who knows his rights, could be locked up by some power-drunk detective: who could perhaps suddenly decide to frame me up for some spurious reason, on one false charge or the other, simply because she was incensed at being “challenged” (to use local parlance) by me, has prompted me to write to you – so that such monstrous abuse of power is halted in police stations nationwide: and the many innocent Ghanaians who are not from privileged backgrounds that go to police stations in Ghana, are spared from experiencing the unspeakable horrors I experienced at the Odokor Police Station.
I do hope you will send out a strong message to all your officers – demanding that they show the public some respect, and be courteous to all Ghanaians: rich and poor alike, whenever, and wherever they encounter them. Above all, Sir, you should arrange to have officers in disguise appearing as suspects in as many police stations as possible throughout Ghana, to see how widespread is the abuse of power and manipulation of the the criminal justice system, by the some of the Ghana Police Service's CID officers. Naturally, I shall not give any names and will not cooperate with your men, if they invite me to assist them to enable the service discipline any of the officers of the Odokor Police CID – as frankly, I have no confidence in most of them. The entire system appears to have been corrupted – and it must be a nationwide disease, I guess. Sir, make the cleaning up of the CID one of your top priorities – if you want to leave a good legacy. A word to the wise...
Telephone (powered by Tigo – the Ghanaian mobile phone network that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109 & the not-so-hot and clueless Vodafone wireless smartphone: + 233 (0) 21 976238.