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National Security being used as land guards? Really?

botchway August 2, 2018

 

One of the problems Jerry John Rawlings government had with Ghanaians was the misuse of the state security agencies for private gain. A case in point was how the then young Selasi Djentuh, the son of a real estate developer, was arrested by soldiers and sent to the Osu Castle where they allegedly used broken bottles to shave him. Djentuh suffered this at the hands of the soldiers because he reportedly dumped one of Jerry Rawlings’ daughters.

Quiet recently, a member of the John Mahama administration also used his office to cause the arrest of a civilian he suspected to have taken photographs of vehicles parked at his private facility on the Spintex Road in Accra. But for the position the said appointee was occupying, he couldn’t have instructed personnel of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) to cause the arrest of his victim.

In fact, the list of politicians and security officers using their positions to fight their private cases in Ghana are lengthy, and we cannot list all of them. Suffice to say, some of these abuses of state power led governments to fall after general elections in this country. It is based on some of these historical facts that The Chronicle is advising President Akufo-Addo to pay special attention to how some of his appointees and personnel of some of the state security agencies conduct themselves.

A story we have carried at our front page today says the Emef Police at Mataheko, near Afienya in the Greater Accra Region, have begun investigations into the circumstances under which National Security operatives, led by one Nathan Marfo Gyasi, invaded a parcel of land at Gbetsile (Hallelujah) in the Kpone Katamanso District last week Friday, July 27, and assaulted one of the workers working on it.

According to our information, Charles Teye Mensah was reportedly assaulted by the Nathan Marfo Gyasi-led National Security operatives, after demanding from the team, which also included Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) personnel of the Police Service, whether their presence on the land was on orders of a court of competent jurisdiction.

The Chronicle gathered from independent sources that ownership of the land, which is being currently occupied by Cedar Concrete Limited, is in dispute and one of the claimants appears to be using National Security to fight the case.

The Chronicle is not concerned about who owns the land – our concern is the use of state security to fight a private matter. Unless it is acting upon the express instruction of a court, under no circumstances should the state security agencies be used to intimidate private individuals over ownership of a private property.

The Chronicle is drawing the attention of the President to the issue, because, at the end of the day, it is his government that would be accused of using state security to abuse the rights of Ghanaians.

The names of National Security officers and police involved in this matter would not be mentioned. Again, the names of the National Security officers would not appear on the ballot paper in 2020 – it is President Akufo-Addo’s name that would appear – and that is the reason why he must rein in some of the security personnel before they destroy the image of his government.

We, at The Chronicle know that President Akufo-Addo, as a human right activist, will never support neither would he condone this conduct. Ghanaians have accepted constitutional democracy since 1992, because they think the rule of law is the best way to go.

Under no circumstances should the President allow influential people to misuse the security agencies to their private advantage.

Former President Rawlings tolerated this unfortunate development, and Ghanaians punished his government for that, and President Akufo-Addo should not fall for the bait.

He must call his National Security Minister, Kan Dapaah, and warn him to weed out the bad nuts from his set-up before they wreak havoc on the new government.

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