By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
Director-General of Public Affairs, Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu has debunked assertions that the Police Administration only moves in swiftly to take action against perpetrators of crimes to seek justice for colleague officers saying, the Police is not biased towards their own but circumstances make it appear so.
ACP Eklu said contrary to the perceptions, the Police Administration does not shield police officers who offend the law but follow due process to institute investigations and take action against such people according to the outcomes of the investigations.
He was speaking on Ho-based West FM’s morning show, West Breakfast Drive on Tuesday regarding comments from the public which sought to suggest that the Police selectively enforce law and order in the country.
Last Thursday, some police officers allegedly assaulted 3 Ghanaian Times Journalists who were on their way for an official assignment, near Kinbu Traffic in Accra to the extent that one of them, a nursing mother collapsed and was rushed to the hospital for treatment while another suffered punches in his face causing blood to gush out from his nostrils.
Same day, an officer was involved in a brawl with a driver and his mate around Mallam Junction and in a video that went viral, the two were seen beating up the uniformed man.
Although many including the Ghana Journalists Association had condemned the assault and called for swift investigations to punish the perpetrators, no action was seen on Monday (a day those who assaulted the police were arraigned before court) aside a statement from the Police on Friday assuring the public that investigations had begun.
Asked about why there was a swift action on one hand (in the case of assault on the police) and a delay on the other (assault on the journalists), the Director-General of Public Affairs said the circumstances in both instances differed.
“That Thursday after the driver and his mate beat up the police, he reported the case at a police station that he was beaten by the officer and was issued with a medical report to visit the hospital. Then the video later came out on Friday which alerted the officers at the station where he earlier lodged the complaint with. So when he came back with his mate to the station, they were arrested. Because they could not be kept in the police cells for more than 48 hours, they had to be arraigned before court.”
He continued, “but on the scuffle between the Ghanaian Times journalists and the policemen, like I mentioned earlier, the journalists waited till yesterday, Monday to make their statement. In that case, we were unable to take any action because we didn’t get to hear from the other side. Besides, for us to act, a medical form must be returned confirming a person has actually suffered physical assault.”
ACP Eklu admitted that there could be times arrests are made without statements from both sides saying, that only happens when the availability of a party to a case cannot be guaranteed when needed, which was not in the case involving the Policemen and the journalists.
He also spoke of police service regulations including lack of civility towards the public which when officers offend, attract punishment of all kinds and called on officers of the law enforcement institution to be law abiding so as not to bring the name of the Institution into disrepute and to be able to carry out their duties with a clear conscience.