Leaked tape: Ad-hoc C’ttee clears IGP, indicts 3 Snr. police officers
The Parliamentary Committee probing the leaked tape in which three Senior police officer were plotting the removal of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare has cleared the IGP of any wrongdoing.
In a draft report of the Atta Akyea-led Committee intercepted by the media, the Committee recommended that the three senior officers should be further investigated and possibly prosecuted for perjury.
“The three senior police officers namely, COP Alex Mensah, Supt. George Lysander Asare and Supt. Eric Emmanuel Gyebi involved in the conspiracy to remove the IGP should be referred for further investigation and possible prosecution for perjury under the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) and professional misconduct under the Police Service Act, 1970 (Act 350) and the Police Service Regulations, 2012, (C.I. 76).
“In order to safeguard the sanctity of the appointment of an IGP and, in particular, shield the appointment process from perceptions of partisanship and political “manipulation”, there is the need to review/amend article 202(1) of the Constitution, 1992, Police Service Act, (Act 350) and related legislation/statutes fundamentally to secure the independence of the office of the IGP,” the recommendation read.
The Committee also found all the allegations made against the IGP to be baseless and unsubstantiated.
Below are excerpts of draft report by the Committee
In view of the issues raised before the Committee and resolved by the investigations and evidence uncovered by the Committee, the Committee makes the following recommendations for consideration by the Rt. Honourable Speaker;
The three senior police officers namely, COP Alex Mensah, Supt. George Lysander Asare and Supt. Eric Emmanuel Gyebi involved in the conspiracy to remove the IGP should be referred for further investigation and possible prosecution for perjury under the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) and professional misconduct under the Police Service Act, 1970 (Act 350) and the Police Service Regulations, 2012, (C.I. 76).
In order to safeguard the sanctity of the appointment of an IGP and, in particular, shield the appointment process from perceptions of partisanship and political “manipulation”, there is the need to review/amend article 202(1) of the Constitution, 1992, Police Service Act, (Act 350) and related legislation/statutes fundamentally to secure the independence of the office of the IGP.
The office of the IGP shall be on the same terms and condition of service of a Justice of the Court of Appeal except that the tenure of office shall be non-renewable after the attainment of compulsory retirement of sixty years (60).
A serving/sitting IGP shall not be removed from office except for stated misbehaviour or incompetence; incapacity to perform the functions of the office by reason of infirmity of body or mind and related misconduct provided under the Police Service Act or Regulations.
Relatedly, parliament should expedite action on the enactment of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers Bill to address professional dilemmas that may lead to conflict of interest.
Additionally, safeguarding the sanctity of the election security management, the IGP, as head of the National Election Security Task Force, should ensure transparency in the deployment of security personnel engaged in election security management operations and, where such personnel are found to have acted unprofessionally in the discharge of their duties, including in violent intimidation of a voter, they should be held accountable by the GPS or the appropriate external accountable authority/body.
In order to promote professional and adherence to good practice, the Police Council and/or POMAB should put in place a programme of continuous professional training of police personnel at all levels regarding the legal, policy and normative frameworks (regional, national and international) for regulating professional, ethical policing, as well as professional dilemmas associated with conflict of interest. In this connection, it is worthwhile for the GPS to collaborate with key stakeholders, particularly the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry for Justice and related civil society actors to achieve this objective.
Urgent steps should be taken by the Police Council towards establishment of an Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) modelled on global good/best practices pertaining in jurisdictions such as South Africa, England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Canada, Malasia, etc., to replace the existing Police Professional Standard Bureau (PPSB). PPSB currently serves as as an internal accountable mechanism dedicated to maintenance of professional standards by checking acts of misconduct and unprofessional/unethical conduct involving police personnel. The need for the establishment of IPCC is anchored in the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights Resolution 13a, 2006 on “Police Reform, Accountability and Civilian Oversight in Africa”, which aims at enhancement of peace and security, checking abuse of power and professional misconduct by police personnel. The proposed IPCC primarily would function as an independent oversight body Ombudsman) for purposes of ensuring internal and external accountability relative to the GPS.
Strict enforcement of the provisions under the Police Service Act 1970 (Act 350) and the Police Service Regulations 2012 (C.I. 76), prohibiting serving police officers from engaging in activities outside his or her duties as a police officer which may lead to political controversy as the Committee found for the three senior police officers in this enquiry.
9.0 FINDINGS OF FACT
The Committee established the following as findings of fact based on the evidence gathered and undisputed by all the witnesses who appeared before the Committee:
1. There were two audio tapes (first and second tapes) that served as the primary evidence for the Committee’s investigation. The first audio tape was one that went viral in the public domain and was made available to the Committee by Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament. The second audio tape was made available to the Committee by Chief Bugri Naabu through his lawyer, Mr. Raymong Dornyo. The first and second audio tapes formed one audio tape with different durations.
2. The two audio tapes were authenticated by the four key witnesses who testified before the Committee namely Chief Bugri Naabu, COP Alex Mensah Supt. George Lysander Asare and Supt. Eric Emmanuel Gyebi. They all confirmed their voices as captured in the audio tapes as true representation of their voices as well as the contents therein.
3. Chief Bugri Naabu, COP George Alex Mensah, Supt. George Lysander Asare and Supt. Eric Emmanuel Gyebi conspired, purposely to remove the IGP, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare because of his alleged unsubstantiated affiliation to the NDC. These allegations by the senior police officers were found to be unsubstantiated and therefore without basis but were sold to Chief Bugri Naabu by the COP George Alex Mensah, Supt. George Lysander Asare and Supt. Eric Emmanuel Gyebi in order to rile up the political sentiments of Chief Bugri Naabu and secure his support for their cause to remove the IGP and replace him with COP George Alex Mensah.
4. The combined effect of the content of the leaked audio tape and the testimony of the three Senior Police officers before the Committee confirm that all the senior police officers captured in the leaked audio tape publicly declared their affiliation, sympathy and possible membership of the NPP, a circumstance that is prohibited by the Police Serve Act and its regulations. 5. It was also established as a fact that there was intense lobbying initiated through Chief Bugri Naabu by COP Alex Mensah, Supt. George Lysander Asare and Supt. Eric Emmanuel Gyebi aimed at removing the current IGP, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare because of the unsubstantiated claim by COP Alex Mensah, Supt. George Asare and Supt. Eric Emmanuel Gyebi that Dr. Akuffo Dampare is capable of frustrating the electoral fortunes of the NPP in the 2024 General Election.
6. The conspiracy to remove the current IGP, Dr. Akuffo Dampare, initiated by COP George Alex Mensah, Supt. George Lysander Asare and Supt. Eric Emmanuel Gyebi is to allow for a more submissive, pliant IGP to help the NPP “break the 8”, has the potential to undermine the integrity of the forthcoming 2024 General Election and could potentially undermine the true will of the citizenry in respect of their right to freedom of choice and the right to vote as guaranteed under Article 21(13) of the Constitution and international human rights for which Ghana subscribes to, and a State Party to, particularly Article 21(1) (3) of the UDHR and Article 25 (a) (b) of the ICCPR.
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