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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Columnist: Abdulai, Iddrisu

Police allegedly collect Ghc1,100 from suspects

Allegedly, the Police took at least GH ¢ 1,100.00 from only five of the suspects arrested in the special operation undertaking by the team of armed men and women on 04 December 2014. One of the suspects instantly paid GH ¢ 500.00 and the other four suspects, picked up from Lapaz New Market, paid GH ¢ 600.00 (ie, GH ¢150.00 per person).

On reaching their station (most likely Tesano), the police immediately released the suspect who paid the GH ¢ 500.00. The four suspects from Lapaz passed the night in custody while their friends and families mobilized the money. Consequently, they were released a day later when their ‘debt’ was settled.

This amount is most likely a minute fraction of the total sum mobilized from the said operation. Why? Because all four vehicles used for the operation were packed with suspects.

If readers would remember, I posted a write-up ‘What happens after the police raided Lapaz New Market?’at Spyghana ( @ 04/12/2014) and on Ghanaweb (06/12/2014). Even I attached a blurred photo of one of the police pick-up trucks leaving the scene with some of the suspects (the said photo is displayed on the website given above). In the aforementioned write-up, I praised the Ghana Police Service for conducting the swoop, a well-coordinated one indeed.

But the suspicion of the public emphatically stated therein is whether the police are once again enriching themselves for Christmas or they are really flushing criminals out of Accra. In the aforementioned article, I prayed the IGP to monitor his men and women to ensure that the said operation was fully executed in line with our laws. In contrast, the ulterior motive of the average Ghanaian police has been exhibited. Hmm! Traditions, whether beneficial or harmful, die hard.

These are officers clothed from head to toes by the State, paid ‘better’ salaries, and provided with state-owned, state-fuelled and state-maintained vehicles /vii’kles/, yet every operation undertaken by them must be paid for by the public. Why? The police themselves are aware of how the public perceive them just as the public themselves view police as workers who always get something to share after each day’s work. Why?

It remains unknown to me whether the Law Book of Ghana empowers the police to take monies to this tune from suspects, whether proved guilty or innocent. Somebody must speak up. Once again, I still hope that one of you (the readers) will draw the IGP’s attention to this operation for further action. All the other particulars including the registration numbers of the vehicles used by the police are available in the previous article whose title is given above.

But why that article and this follow-up? Because the police have been conducting such raids at the same location. Reportedly, each raid has the same objective: catch some, collect money and leave them.

Long live concerned citizens! Long live Ghana!