Investigate recent police promotions -Hackman

Posted: March 5, 2012 in Security
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The Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juaben North, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, has appealed to the Minister for the Interior-designate, William Kwasi Aboah, to, as a matter of urgency, begin investigations into the recent promotions in the Police Service, and come out with a report that will calm nerves and end the confusion the promotions had brought into the service.

According to the former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing in the former government, the current atmosphere in the Police Service was nothing to write home about, and was of the belief that if nothing was done immediately to arrest the situation, the grief and anger that had come as a result of the promotions, may degenerate into something else.

“Madam Speaker, when people are by-passed, in terms of promotion, because of their perceived political affiliation, it tends to polarise the police institution,” Mr. Owusu-Agyemang said.

The New Juaben North legislator made this observation on the floor of the House yesterday, when contributing to the motion to approve of the President’s ministerial and deputy ministerial nominations that appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament recently for vetting.

On Friday, January 13, this year, there was a police wireless message from the IGP to all regional, divisional, district and unit commanders, to inform them that “His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana has, on the recommendation of the Police Council, approved the promotions of the under-mentioned Deputy Commissioners of Police to the rank of Commissioner of Police, with effect from 1st January 2012.

Mr. Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, Director-General in Charge of Technical Services, Rose Bio Atinga, Accra Regional Commander, Dr. Peter Alex Wiredu, Acting Director of Ghana Immigration Service, Mr. John Kudalor, Director General Operations, Mr. Hamidu Mahama, Director General of Human Resource, and Mr. Prosper Kwame Agblor, Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department.

A few days after the President announced the promotions, there was an uneasy calm in the police administration over the exclusion of five other accomplished officers, namely, DCOP David Asante-Apeatu, third in command after the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Stephen Andoh Kwofie, Central Regional Commander, Mr. James Boanuh, Police Commissioner to the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Mr. Frank Adu-Poku, Director of Services and Mr. Patrick Timbillah, Ashanti Regional Commander.

The promotion brought out questions as to what criteria the President and the Police Council used before settling on the officers who were promoted, with some claiming that it was given to officers who had close ties with the ruling National Democratic Congress, rather than the usual standards of competence and performance.

Also contributing on the motion was Isaac Kwame Asiamah, MP for Atwima-Mponua. In his contribution, he called on the would-be Minister for the Interior to ensure that Ministers and District Chief Executives (DCEs) recuse themselves from being heads of security at the region and district levels respectively, especially, during the 2012 general elections.

According to him, since some of the Minister and DCEs and or MCEs are contesting for parliamentary seats, their neutrality could be compromised, and would leave the region, district, municipality or metropolis in a fragile state.

Per the dictates of the Constitution, the Regional Minister automatically becomes the head of security in the particular region he or she supervises, while the District, Municipal or Metropolitan Chief Executive becomes the head of security in his or her area of jurisdiction.

He advocated for police officers taking absolute control over the region, district, municipal or metropolitan areas during the 2012 general elections.

The Atwima-Mponua legislator also requested Mr. Lee Ocran, who was confirmed as Minister of Education, to apologise to Ghanaians for pronouncing the oil discovered at the Jubilee Field as “dirty oil from Suame” on the floor of the House, somewhere in 2007.

During the vetting, Mr. Lee Ocran was reminded of the above-mentioned statement he made. But as to what he thought about the statement with the benefit of hindsight, he stated simply that the nation had moved on with actual production of oil from the Jubilee Field, and that he didn’t wish to revisit the matter, though that statement was informed by documentation that was available to him at the time.

Meanwhile, Parliament has unanimously approved all the nine nominees of the President for ministerial and deputy ministerial positions in the government.

The approval was based on the recommendations of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, having satisfied itself with all the requirements of the nominees, when they appeared before it for questioning.

The nominees include Moses Aduko Asaga (Minister-designate for Employment and Social Welfare); Dominic Azimbe Azumah (Minister of State-designate at the Presidency); Fritz Frederic Baffour (Minister-designate for Information); Henry Kwadzo Ametefe (Deputy Minister-designate for the Volta Region); and Lee Ocran (Minister-designate for Education).

The rest are Amin Amidu Sulemani (Minister-designate for the Upper West Region); William Kwasi Aboah (Minister-designate for the Interior); Stephen Ackah (Deputy Minister-designate for Local Government); and Isaac Vanderpuye (Deputy Minister-designate for the Greater Accra Region).

The approval of the nine is subject to the President’s assent, but is not clear when that would be done to pave way for them to begin work.

President Mills, late last month (January, 2012), communicated to Parliament for prior approval of the nomination of the aforementioned persons for appointment as ministers and deputy ministers, pursuant to Article 78(1), 79(1), 256(1) and 256(2) of the 1992 Constitution.


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