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Opinions of Sunday, 26 February 2017

Columnist: Lungu, Prof.

Rejoinder: Soldier detained for leaking Flagstaff House brutality video (2)

By Prof Lungu

"... On Ghanaweb, many are they who have commented on the 'core values' of the NPP as they've sought to explain the true 'character' of the NPP...Be that as it may, as of 25 Feb 17..according to Kweku Baako, 'the former police officer and a member of the vigilante group...is being sought by the...CID...of the Ghana Police Service...but cannot be found'...For us, the fact that there is still Ghana military...Ghana Police Service...BNI..., and that there is '...Invincible Forces, a private security wing of the governing NPP...', that to us, is what is most worrying...Why was the 'senior police officer' assaulted at the Flagstaff House while he was attempting to leave the premise, a property of government?...And so, it is now up to President Akufo Addo to direct that his team come clean without any further delay...Who exactly behaved as if they owned the Flagstaff House while Akufo Addo was the President of Ghana...Ghana, where is that man?...", (Prof Lungu, 25 Feb 17)-rev.

Of late, we've not been more unsettled about events in Ghana than reading about the "...beating up a senior police officer at the Flagstaff House in Accra...," by "...persons suspected to be members of the Invincible Forces, a private security wing of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)...".

Now, normally, when we hear about police brutality, it is always about police in United States brutalizing minorities, usually with deadly consequence through the use of guns. But, this is a Ghana interest item. The table is turned, and the victim, as per the hot video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YMQuaPccys), is a senior police officer.

Reportedly, the assault on the police officer occurred "9 January, two days after Nana Akufo-Addo’s investiture", and was captured by a Government-owned Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) system at the Flagstaff House. As far as we know, segments of the assault on the undated, untagged, CCTV tape was leaked to the media and public by a "45-year-old military officer" who was on duty that day, and who, as of 20 February, was in the military brig. (We understand that the 'military officer' has been released).

On Ghanaweb, many have commented on the "core values" of the NPP as they've sought to explain the true "character" of the NPP. For us, as we understand, some of the "values" attributed to individuals and cited in comments to the article are not illegal, though they may be anti-social.

However, it is when President Akufo Addo and the leadership of the NPP allow the name of that party to be shielded, protected, or otherwise used to obfuscate truth behind potentially unlawful acts by their operatives, it is that time we know a threshold has been crossed that require immediate accounting by President Akufo Addo and the NPP party leadership.

For us, the fact that there is still Ghana military and all their departments, that there is still Ghana Police Service in all their departments, that there is still BNI and all its departments, and that there is "...Invincible Forces, a private security wing of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)...", that to us, is what is most worrying.

Ghana, where is the man?

In 2017, when every member of the Ghana defense force is in fact a Ghanaian, and politicians have always had the power to select whom they want to lead those departments, it is insane for a ruling party to have and to maintain, "a private security wing" with access to Government-owned facilities.

So, for (1) a senior police officer to be at the receiving end of that mayhem, (2) while a member of the military was detained for leaking a tape about that same potentially unlawful attack, and (3) the for the absence of any reports, investigations, or communications to Ghanaians, etc., those are the troubling facts.

President Akufo Addo must come clean without any further delay about what he knows about the 9 January event, when he knew, and who exactly are those individuals behaving on the tape as if they owned the Flagstaff House while he, Akufo Addo, was the President of Ghana.

Ghana, who is that man in the red turtle neck shirt?

Ghana, where is that man in the red turtle neck shirt?

Again, in addition, we would have expected Lord Commey, "the Director of Operations at the Flagstaff House", to have "directed" the " EBS team" to a real number, to the real person who has responsibility to communicate to the public about matters of that nature.

Lord Commey saying that "I don’t think I’m the right person to talk to", does not exude responsibility and responsiveness on the part of a public employee. It does not denote devotion to service, or duty. We are saying it is not enough for Commey to merely text "this is not my job" when his is in fact on the same "grounds", when his is in fact "the Director of Operations", when he ought to know who that right person is.

Try as hard as he may, Lord Commey cannot hide behind "it’s a purely security matter".

Hogwash!

But, why hasn't the Ghana Police Service issued a report about the matter to date?

Is the Ghana Police Service doing enough to protect its own officers?

And should not the military have treated that "assault case" as a whistle-blower evidence, if (1) the military officer now detained initially made a report to supervisors and (2) the military supervisors failed to investigate in time, or properly?

Might not there be reason for the "military officer" to receive a commendation, for service and citizeship?

And what is that about the failure to provide food for detained persons?

And so, it is now up to President Akufo Addo to direct that his team come clean without any further delays. Who exactly behaved as if they owned the Flagstaff House while Akufo Addo was the President of Ghana.

Why was the "senior police officer" assaulted at the Flagstaff House while he was attempting to leave a government premise in a government vehicle?

Who are the men in the video tape doing the assault, who employs them, with what funds, and why have they also not been detained to answer charges of assault, battery, and other infractions of the law and civil behavior? Why were they at the Flagstaff House in the first place causing all that havoc in front of military guards on duty with automatic weapons?

What is Serious Akufo Addo going to do?


Sources:
1. Ghanaweb, sourced to Classfmonline.com. Soldier detained for leaking Flagstaff House cop brutality video, (http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Soldier-detained-for-leaking-Flagstaff-House-cop-brutality-video-511830).

2. YOUTUBE video: : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YMQuaPccys

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