The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) is worried about the incessant brutalities the Police and some members from the National Security met out to innocent citizens in this country especially on journalist.
More worrying is the recent Rambo style arrest and alleged torture of CITI FM Journalist Caleb Kuda and Zoe at the premises of Citi Fm and security custody respectively.
Caleb’s alleged torture is one of the numerous incidence of such impunity among security operatives in recent past and it is sad to note that it will not be the last since nothing is being done to prevent such inhumane act and human rights abuses from happening again in the country.
The entire chapter Five (5) of the 1992 constitution enjoins every citizen for certain fundamental human rights and frowns on any kind of torture and inhumane treatment meted on persons whether or not such persons has been arrested or convicted of a crime. It enjoins all to treat suspects as being innocent until proven guilty. It is therefore unacceptable and unconstitutional for security personnel who are expected to know better to torture citizens in their custody instead of respecting their human rights .
We note that the recommendations of the Ayawaso West Wuogon commission report stating the removal of certain persons from the National Security, would have helped to serve as a framework to address such problem if government had admitted to implement them and not reject major aspects of the recommendations as it was done. Many of such unprofessional officers are still at post and continuing to act in ways that undermine the human rights of citizens.
Again, as the Chairman of the Police council, the Vice President has remained silent over these brutalities and government functionaries also sits in arm chairs with little concern to the plight of victims.
We in the PPP provide the following recommendations for immediate action by government:
- Institute an urgent investigation into the unprofessional arrest and alleged torture of Caleb Kudah and bring unprofessional officers of the National Security who will be found culpable to book according to law.
- To prevent future brutalities on persons in custody, CCTV cameras should be provided in all interrogation rooms for supervision and make it a punishable offence for any security personnel who interrogate a suspect outside of such camera fitted interrogation rooms.
- Implement fully aspects of the recommendations of the Emil Short commission report that government’s white paper admitted and punish all persons who were deemed to have acted unprofessionally.
- Implement the report of the constitutional review committee to ensure the absolute powers of the executive is reduced so Ghanaians can have good governance and demand proper accountability from the state.
- We further demand a separation of the Attorney General from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). This separation will allow the total independence of the Attorney General to prosecute cases in the public interest without fear or favor.
The PPP believes the state must create a just and disciplined society which forms the basis of respect for fundamental human rights and bring true development for the people.
The blue print for our development is the Constitution, as such, if defective, it skews our democratic principles negatively. The culture of impunity is partly attributable to the constitutional deficiencies we have identified which needs fixing.
Nana Ofori Owusu