The Deputy Minister of the Interior, Kobby Acheampong, who could not stand the effrontery of some policemen on traffic duty for daring to stop him for over-speeding, has had them arrested.
Mr Acheampong, who gained notoriety in insulting political opponents, claimed that he was insulted by the eight policemen on duty, complaining that one of them called him ‘stupid’.
The eight policemen belonging to the Central Regional Command’s Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) are answering questions at the Police Headquarters upon the orders of the IGP, to whom the deputy minister lodged a complaint.
The ‘offending’ police officers were on duty at Ekumfi Esaafa in the Mfantseman District on Sunday and had ordered the deputy minister to pack his car for flouting road traffic regulations.
Three of them were arrested in their various houses on Sunday evening while the remaining five were arrested yesterday.
It was not the first time Mr Acheampong had got policemen on duty arrested as he had equally had two policemen at Nima Police station arrested in a similar fashion.
The deputy minister was in the Central region over the weekend for an official engagement and was returning to Accra when the policemen managed to stop him for excessive speeding on that portion of the highway.
The Police Intelligence and Professional Standards (PIPS) unit is investigating the policemen.
Those who heard the story on the airwaves yesterday were at their wits’ end at the swiftness of the action in arresting the policemen and wondered whether the policemen were not being held simply because they had challenged a deputy minister.
Top police officers are grumbling over the development because of its potential to dampen the morale of personnel.
One of them asked rhetorically, “What moral justification would I have to take action against personnel who become lax in the performance of their duties.”
When the MTTU officer in charge of the Central Region was contacted, he was evasive in his responses, confirming though that a report had been made by the deputy minister.
As to what the nature of the report was, he said it was over misconduct, avoiding specificity.The alacrity with which the police have responded to the deputy minister’s complaint has raised eyebrows but the MTTU officer, Superintendent Paul Aduhene did not find anything unusual about the action taken.
The Police Administration has ordered PIPS to investigate the “eight policemen for an alleged act of misconduct against the Hon Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr. Kobby Acheampong.”
A release signed by Cephas Arthur, Acting Public Affairs Director of the Ghana Police Service said, “The police officers who were on a motor check duty at Ekumfi Esaafa on the Cape Coast-Winneba road are said to have verbally abused the Hon. Minister for daring to offer them a piece of advice as a sector minister on the duty they were performing.
The release said, “Preliminary investigation has revealed that the minister had driven out of the traffic which had dangerously mounted right on the crest of the hill down into the valley in order to offer the officers a piece of advice about the unsuitability of conducting the motor check in a valley and could therefore result in an accident.
“It must be emphasized that as a sector Minister, the Hon. Deputy Interior Minister had every right to advise the police officers about the danger their action posed to the public.”
“Having made this observation and advised that the exercise be conducted in a long stretch to make for easy visibility”, the statement said, “one of the officers is alleged to have verbally attacked him, an act which is unbecoming of a police officer”.
DSP Arthur said the arrest was part of the image cleansing campaign being embarked upon by the Police Administration and called on the public to report to PIPS, police officers who misconduct themselves.
Last year, after Mr. Acheampong’s wife jumped a red light, two policemen attached to the Nima Police who had caused her arrest, were detained at the Police Headquarters overnight, allegedly on the orders of the deputy Minister, then with the Ministry of Tourism.
The two innocent policemen, Lance Corporals I.A. Amuzu and Richard Bansah were performing their lawful duties when Kobby Acheampong’s wife ‘jumped’ red traffic light at the intersection at North Ridge-Asylum Down, close to the King Tackie Tawiah overpass.
They were said to have been detained overnight at the Police Headquarters in Accra in August 2010, following a telephone call placed to her husband and he in turn allegedly called the police hierarchy and within minutes, police vehicles with sirens stormed the scene and arrested the two policemen like common criminals.
DAILY GUIDE investigations indicated the minister’s wife was driving a red pick-up around 4pm on the Nima-Kanda highway and upon crossing the overpass, she turned left to the direction of Alisa Hotel, running through a red light to the bewilderment of other motorists.
The two policemen pursued her on a motorbike towards the Alisa Hotel direction and stopped the car.
When they attempted to question why she drove through despite the red light, she called her husband who rushed to the scene.
Whilst there, sources said the deputy Minister arrogantly confronted the policemen for daring to arrest his wife.
He then placed a telephone call apparently to the police hierarchy and the response was swift; weapon-wielding officers in police siren vehicles were at the scene to whisk the two innocent MTTU men away to the police headquarters.
Their motorbike was impounded and they spent the whole night in detention.
Source: A.R. Gomda, William Yaw Owusu & Sarah Owusu-Darlington/Daily Guude
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|