22 May 2017

Ghana: Did Police Service Bungle the Investigation?

The case against 8 members of the Delta Force has been dropped over 'lack' of evidence

The Delta Force 8 case appears to have been crashed under the weight of legal technicalities. The decision to discontinue the case has been explained away in legal jargons.

To what extent may politics have influenced this outcome, given the political dynamics that underpins the crime from the onset? Is the assumption of lack of evidence accurate? Or, has the police been compromised into tempering with evidence? Has witnesses been coerced or paid off by officials in government to withdraw testifying for the prosecution. These are the perception that holds sway on most people's minds.

It is going to be extremely difficult for government to shake off the mistrust of the justice system given the lack of independence of the law enforcing and justice system. It is well known that criminals and gangsters associated with NDC and NPP get political cover to indulge in gross indiscipline and impunity.

In this particular case one can speculate a scenario where NPP would rather have the case dead, than go to trial and face a most likely guilty verdict for the Delta Force 8. The government will not be able to control what its own vigilante groups will do in the wake of a guilty verdict.

Both Delta Force and Invisible Forces have in demonstrated amply they ability to cause mayhem when the need arises. So for government officials, it is much safer to kill this case now. No one goes to prison, and NPP won't have to repeat Montie-3, following conviction. Which would have been a disaster for the government. The president's credibility thus far on Rule of Law have been tested by non other than vigilante groups his own party formed, trained and resourced.

Beyond all these, if there is any single profession in the country that has suffered the greatest humiliation arising from the decision of the State Attorney in Kumasi, it is the men and women of the Ghana police service. The ruling suggests that the police is not only incompetent but probably brainless, as it appears that detectives assigned to locate and arrest the Delta Force culprits did not conduct any form of investigation leading up to the arrest.

All they did was to arrest and charge the first 8 men they set eyes on - on the streets of Kumasi, when as it turned out, there were no evidence of their culpability that can stand in a law court.

Is it incompetence or have the law officers in charge of this crime been compromised by those who have interest in seeing this case go away? How else can they explain the lack of evidence as purported by the State Attorney. It is unfortunate that policemen and women of this country have to be humiliated this way, but one can hardly shed tears for them. They have persistently demonstrated that they can easily be compromised by anyone who has some coins to spare.

By their ever readiness and willingness to accept bribes, they have undermined and obliterated any respect, dignity and integrity the police service is supposed to be accorded with. If anyone want to find out why Ghana has failed thus far in our development efforts, they should just look at the intrigues and the twist and turns surrounding this case and the very central role the police services played. It is a total shame.

To the leaders and officers of the Ghana police, perhaps the time has come to clean house, improve training for your men and women, and more importantly fight for some level of independence from the government.

By: BB Wiredu

Ghana

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