5 December 2012

Ghana: Court Turns Down Request to Restraint Police Boss

Mr Justice Ofosu Quartey, presiding over a Sunyani High Court on Tuesday asked Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Robert Ayalingo, Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander, to remain at post.

Giving the order, Mr Justice Quartey said "It is in the interest of all and sundry, especially the general public and the people of Brong-Ahafo Region to know who is in charge of public order".

"In the last days of Election 2012, if the Kumasi Declaration on Peace could be fruitful for peace to be real, then there is the need to know who is in command of the security of the Brong Ahafo Region," he added.

Mr. Justice Quartey said "I do not think it is ideal that the defendant be restrained in any manner. Let all acrimonies in the Ghana Police Service cease now that the defendant remains the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander till further notice".

He adjourned the case to January 10, 2013 for ruling. Mr Kwame Baffoe, a resident of Odumase in the Sunyani West District, filed a writ in November this year at the court to declare that DCOP Ayalingo, having attained the compulsory retiring age and having been formally retired, cannot hold himself out as the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander and his continuing stay in office is wrongful and unlawful.

The plaintiff is seeking an order from the court to restrain the defendant from holding himself out as Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander and other relief the court might deem fit.

Mr Baffoe in a statement of claim filed on his behalf by Mr Eric Ansah Ankomah of Enso Nyame Ye Chambers in Sunyani said DCOP Ayalingo until September 3, 2012, was the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander and after attaining the statutory retirement age, his engagement with the Ghana Police Service (GPS) officially came to an end on September 3, 2012.

The plaintiff contended that upon his retirement, the defendant was written to by the GPS to handover to his Second-in-Command but refused and subsequently worked out his ways and was given a year's contract extension. Plaintiff avers that by the rules and regulations of the GPS, a retired officer who is given a contract extension ceased to wear police uniform and his rank reduced one step downwards.

He said in the case of DCOP Ayalingo, his rank was not reduced and continued to wear police uniform and parades himself as Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander even though by the Police Service regulation he could not be the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander.The plaintiff said a Regional Commander of the GPS was a sensitive matter and was jealously guarded for only serving officers and not retired officers on contract.

In addition, he contended that he was a member of the Brong-Ahafo Regional Security Council and its decisions affected all the people in Brong-Ahafo Region. The plaintiff stated that DCOP Ayalingo's position as Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander albeit unlawful would give him the opportunity to issue instructions and command to all serving officers and other junior ranks in the Region to shape the way manner citizens' rights and security were handed. He said the continuous stay in office of DCOP Ayalingo as the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander was not only unlawful but a security threat to the people of the Region. GNA

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