The Ghana Police Service has warned that it will not tolerate any act of impunity before, during, and after the December general elections, and that it would discharge its duty without fear or favour. “Individuals who breach the law shall be apprehended and expeditiously prosecuted, irrespective of their political affiliation, to serve as a deterrent to others, and to prevent any culture of impunity from creeping into our society,” the law enforcement agency warned.
The police sounded this caution on Tuesday, when its representative, ACP Paul Awini, at a day’s workshop organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) for security services in the country, made a paper presentation on the topic – ‘Holding citizens accountable, irrespective of their political affiliation: The role of the Election Task Force.’
The event was under the auspices of the Ghana Political Parties Programme (GPPP), and was under the theme ‘Towards Free, Fair and Violence free Elections: Holding our Security Forces Accountable.’
The aim of the workshop, which forms part of the IEA’s commitment to consolidate multi-party democracy, and ensure free, fair elections in 2012, was to sensitise the security services on their responsibilities during the electioneering period.
It was also meant to educate the participants on the various electoral laws and codes, to ensure that the citizens and the security services are fully aware of the range of election-related offences, and what constitutes public disorder.
The event brought together all the security agencies in the country, namely, the Ghana Armed Forces, Navy, Air Force, Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Immigration Service, Bureau of National Investigations, Prisons Service, ex-security officers and academia specialised in security-related matters, as well as representatives of the various political parties in the country.
According to ACP Awini, to ensure a violent free election, the law enforcement agency would speedily prosecute all election-related cases brought to it, but stressed that the men and women in black uniform would rely on the cooperation of complainants, witnesses, and the Attorney General’s Department, hence the need to cooperate with them.
“Admittedly, our ability to prosecute cases expeditiously, if at all, will be contingent on the cooperation of these third parties,” noted the deputy Director General of Police.
Touching on the perception of bias on the part of the police, the security capo noted that the situation was far from the truth, but admitted that some officers have, in one way or the other, acted unprofessionally in the discharge of their duties.
“One thing is very certain, and that is there is no institutional agenda on the part of the police to be partial in favour of any person or group to the disadvantage of any other person or group,” ACP Awini argued.
He directed all aggrieved parties to petition the appropriate authorities for redress, if any officer acts unprofessionally.
Throwing more light on the preparedness of the Police Service towards the 2012 general elections, the security capo hinted that a National Elections Taskforce was in the process of being inaugurated to spearhead the creation of a conducive security environment for free, fair and credible elections to take place.
The said taskforce had membership from the Ghana Police Service, Armed Forces, National Security Coordinating Council, Bureau of National Investigations, Electoral Commission, Immigration Service, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Research Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
In addition to the above-mentioned membership, the taskforce shall have six sub-committees, namely, Intelligence, Legal, Investigation and Prosecution; Planning, Implementation, Monitoring And Coordination; Personnel Mobilization, Deployment and Transport; Ballot Boxes Security and Logistics; Media Education, Publicity and Communication, and Finance.
The taskforce, according to ACP Awini, shall be replicated at the regional, divisional and district levels, and has the mandate to plan, organise, implement, monitor and coordinate the operations of the security agencies in creating a safe environment for the elections to take place.

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