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Opinions of Friday, 2 June 2017

Columnist: Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III

When Ghanaian intellectuals lose it all and talk nonsense about the police

The death of Capt. Maxwell Adama Mahama should not bring about 'institutional coup' whereby some sections of the Ghanaian publics would be calling for the military police to take over the constitutionally mandated duties of Ghana Police Service. The hallucinations of "soldier power" is over and we should come to terms with it including the soldiers. We are now in constitutional rule and the police service is the pivot of our democracy as far as law and order are concerned.

I have been watching keenly with interest comments being passed by a cross section of Ghanaian publics and I ask myself whether people lose their common sense and talk anyhow in times like this or they are just suffering from emotional hallucinations and for that matter need an urgent cure?

It's so disappointing to hear seasoned journalists, lawyers, doctors, nurses teachers and almost all the highly rated professionals in Ghana talking nonsense when a situation like this come up. That is when intellectuals in Ghana lose it completely and I always wonder why? They suddenly remove their thinking cap and replace them with membranes full of water and start to talk nonsense about the Ghana Police Service. That is when you see people unreasonably calling for the disbandment of Ghana Police Service. That is hypocrisy at the highest order and how they hate the police.

I flared up yesterday when I heard some soldiers yesterday saying that they would want their military police to handle or investigate the circumstances which led to the death of Capt. Maxwell Adama Mahama because they do not trust the police service. A knowledgeable soldier will never spew that nonsense but will rather call for collaboration between the military and the police to delve into the depth of this matter considering the fact that the police service is the only constitutionally mandated body to investigate crimes of which the death of Capt. Maxwell Adama Mahama is not of exception.

No matter sensitive this case is and accompanied by its emotional tendencies, the military lack the constitutional capabilities of handling it apart from the police service. The military police or whatever it is, is just a departmental or internal disciplinary body within the military and cannot go beyond its bounds to investigate anybody in this country on criminal charges. They cannot even investigate soldiers involved in criminal acts and let alone to talk of Ghanaians. They lack the constitutional sense to do that even if they have the physical capabilities.

Capt. Maxwell Adama Mahama's death is a big blow to all of us particularly those of who attended school with him at St. John's School, Sekondi. When we came to first year, he was in final year and for that matter, all the OLD SAINTS are in a mourning mood but that does not call for the disbandment of the police service which has the bonafide constitutional right to handle all the criminal cases in Ghana. That is a misplaced call and an open attack on the Constitution of Ghana and must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians. It is a form of institutional coup that must not be tolerated.



Calls for the police to step aside to allow soldiers to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of the soldier is discriminatory and hypocritical since he is not the only person who has been killed in that manner. The same day that Capt. Maxwell Adama Mahama was being lynched, that very day in somewhere Bolga and an old lady was also being lynched to death after she was accused of being a witch. Who should investigate the death of this old lady? Should the military police investigate that one too, or the traditional Asafo company in the hometown of the old lady should investigate that one because she is one of their own? It's maybe the old lady is poor.

The police service is heavily constrained and challenged but no reasonable person in this country sees the need to call for resourcing and equipping the police service as the Constitution says to be able to carry out its constitutional functions effectively but rather bisect their proboscis to any angle to openly call for the disbandment of the police service. It's sickening in the head that needs attention at Accra Psychiatric Hospital or Pantang and I am sincere about it.

The soldiers can go to Denkyira Obuasi and capsize the town and arrest everybody in that town but they will still have to hand them over to the police to investigate them. Any attempt to detain them in the military custody is a constitutional breach, assault by imprisonment and unlawful detentions. That will be lawlessness that the country should not tolerate in as much as we all call for justice for Capt. Maxwell Adama Mahama. It doesn't mean the military is superior to our laws. That should never be the case.

Calls for the military police to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of Capt. Maxwell Adama Mahama is a misplaced one. Equipping and maintaining the police service to maintain its traditional role of maintaining law and order should be the right calls. When our democracy is fully consolidated, we will not see the use of the military. Even now what at they doing? We should rather disband the military and absorb them into the police.

Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III
dkwofie17@gmail.com
#Ahantadiaries