You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2021 06 18Article 1289422

Opinions of Friday, 18 June 2021

Columnist: K Kakraba Pratt

IGP must not only be sacked, he must be prosecuted for negligence

Inspector General of Police, James Oppong-Buanoh Inspector General of Police, James Oppong-Buanoh

IGP must not only be sacked. He must be prosecuted for negligence, gross dereliction of duty, and also civil suit for causing the death of a policeman in his care.

I know the usual attack dogs will be unleashed after this article but what do I care? A young a promising Emmanuel Osei is dead because the person who should have had his back and provided him with adequate accoutrements and gear for his role as a fitting police escort, was dozing at the wheel of his job and let him down.

You see, it’s natural that when you are the IGP, all innovations and introduction of new things that happen under your watch is credited to you and goes into your tribute. ( I saw the tribute of Mr. Ernest Arko) so it stands to reason that as the head of the police service, anything wrong or goes bad must be placed at your doorstep.

In any case, is it not the responsibility of the IGP to formulate policy and come up with strategies and modalities to ensure effective policing and also protect the men and women under his care? That is why he gets the luxury of flagged V8 and driver and other accompaniments especially the fan fool salute.

This IGP has been due for retirement a long time ago. He has been given extension of time either because it may be that he has the right face or the correct voice to sing the right praises. There is a reason why police officers are made to retire at age 60.

After age 60, you would have contributed enough to the service in various roles and be privileged if lucky to serve in the high-profile role of IGP. We must stop this too-heavy approach to keeping people at the top when they are due to retire. We must allow the younger ones too, usually with fresh training and new approaches and new strategies the chance to also contribute at the top level.

Don’t forget that once the top is blocked by what is obviously a new deadwood, it stifles promotion and career development at the bottom and can affect morale of those waiting in the wing for a chance.

If it is felt that he still had something to offer after his retirement, he could have been appointed to the Police Council or set up a special voluntary advisory committee.

What else can you offer the police service that you did not have the chance to offer during your time as a serving officer? I agree with the IGP that crime occurs everywhere even in UK and USA so it’s not strange if there is crime in Ghana. What is not acceptable is that we did not make him IGP to serve UK and USA.

His duty is to reduce crime and protect the citizenry in Ghana not heaven or USA his retort in the face of failure that there is crime everywhere except heaven is an insult to the people of Ghana and the appointing authority. He must unreservedly apologise. But in those countries if you don’t perform, you resign or you are sacked.

He is obviously tired, faded and worn out and must be shown the exit to rest and wait for his turn at the Council of State, if he is lucky and a vacancy occurs for an ex IGP to serve.

The reason why he must be prosecuted is simple. The police’s own protocol for escorting Vans for Cash in Transit says in black and white that it must be an “armoured” van. Why did he continue to allow policemen and women to escort such pick-up adapted vans when they are not armoured and also without the appropriate equipment like bulletproof vests and automatic sidearms?

Is it not his duty to ensure that policemen and women on duty are properly and adequately attired for the kind of duty they are assigned to? Even if not directly, he is ultimately responsible. So he did not perform his duties well or he did not put in the appropriate supervisory channels in place. He is still responsible for the failure.

A failure which has caused the lives of men and women under his care. I am told the Jamestown killing of Emmanuel is not the first of such fatal robberies. Why did he not learn lessons from the first one? His actions and inactions led to the death of those serving under him.

He must pay the price just as he takes credit and accolades for all that is good in the service under his watch. This is gross dereliction of duty.

Why should he be sued by the families? As head of the police service, he failed in his duty of care. He collected every allowance and remuneration as the IGP but did not work to that level resulting in the death. He aught to have satisfied the Ghanaian public that he fulfilled all his role but the deaths still happened and could not have been avoided.

The fact that he permitted a policeman in the kind of sub-standard cash in transit van without protective equipment makes this neglect a touch too far and may actually make him partially or wholly responsible for this death. Because there is all likelihood that if he had supervised the service properly and ensured that the right protocols were followed, General Constable Emmanuel Osei could have had a fighting chance and survived the attack.

We know that policemen and women sign on voluntarily to join the police. We know the police work can be dangerous but not providing them with agreed and acceptable equipment amounts to leading the sheep to the slaughter.

I contend that not playing his role right, the IGP directly or indirectly contributed to the death the policemen and women and so, in the same way, he would have taking credit for a good job done by a constable in even far away Loloto, he should be made to take responsibility for failures anywhere in the country.

To whom much is given, much is expected. If the family is allowed to sue the IGP, jointly and severally with the police council and the banks that provided the wrong type of bullion van for this operation, people who are placed highly with lots of privileges and respect will be more careful in taking jobs that they are not ready for or not capable of executing or at least it will serve as a check on their minds to give off their best in such positions.

Fixing the country and clearing the mess of greedy public officers who do not wish to leave the dance floor when the music stops, must start somewhere and unfortunately this IGP has presented us a good opportunity to start with the police service.