The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has called on the Executive, Parliament and the Ministry of Interior to urgently establish an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for Ghana following the alleged killing of Albert Donkor in Nkoranza in the Bono East Region.
The IPCC, according to the CHRI, would investigate such issues independently and not rely on the Ghana Police’s own internal investigations, which are hardly made public.
“Despite the consistent advocacy for the establishment of an IPCC since 2014, resulting in the development and submission of a
framework in 2019 to the Minister of Interior, no action has been taken to establish the institution.
“The continued inaction on the part of the State to put in place the IPCC emboldens rogue elements in the Ghana Police Service to engage in such unfortunate and dastardly acts. The Government of Ghana is under a duty pursuant to the 1992 Constitution and the State’s international human rights commitments to give effect to human rights and justice by establishing such measures as the IPCC.
“There could be no sooner time to do this than now to prevent another needless death especially in light of recent similar incidents of reported deaths in police custody,” a statement issued by the CHRI said.
The Bono East Regional Minister Kwasi Adu Gjan assured that a thorough investigation will be conducted into the death of 27-year-old man Albert Donkor who was reported to have died in Police custody, leading to youth agitations in the area.
He said this matter will not be glossed over because it can happen to anyone.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday May 17, he said “We will not allow any conniving and condoning to this because today, it is Albert Donkor, tomorrow it could be me. I am lucky, I am the minister, I have the police with me, tomorrow what happens if I am no more a minister, anyone of us could be Albert Donkor.
“So, this is not an issue that we, those in authority including the traditional rulers will relent on at all. We assure them to keep calm.”
Meanwhile, the Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB) of the Ghana Police Service has said it is investigating the death of a robbery suspect at Nkoranza
A statement issued by the Police on Tuesday May 17 said “Following the death of suspect Albert Donkor, the Bono East Police Regional Police Command held engagements with the family of the deceased and other relevant stakeholders in response to their concerns regarding the incident.”
It added “Also, the Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB) has commenced an investigation into the incident to ascertain whether the operation was carried out in line with the Standard Operating Procedure of the service. a team from the PPSB has visited the area in this regard.”
This developments comes after the Inspector General of Police (IGP) was called upon to act swiftly to address the issue.
Wa West Member of Parliament, Peter Lanchene Toobu, said in his view, the development puts a burden on the IGP to, as a matter of urgency, find a solution to Police brutalities in the country.
Speaking in an interview with Eric Mawuena Egberta on the mid day news on 3FM Tuesday May 17 in relation to the alleged Police brutalities on a 27-year-old man at Nkoranza, leading to his death, Mr Toobu who is a retired police officer said “The Police organization remains the only organization that is the lead organization in law enforcement.
“It is very clear that Police brutality is a global phenomenon. How to curb Police brutalities requires some issues that every country will specify. What happened in the US in May 2020 where George Floyd was killed by a Police officer, it was the local Police that started the investigations and issued the statement.
“When there was video circulating, the local Police quickly changed their position and they said they had gathered more information regarding this and updated themselves, at the end of the day the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) took over the matter and dealt with it until the perpetrator was convicted, it was done within the system.
“If the system is working, I don’t care who you are, as far as you commit a crime irrespective of the uniform your are wearing, you should be dealt with accordingly because everybody is equal under the law.
“So what happened in Nkoranza is nothing new as compared to what happened around the world. But what are we expecting? We are expecting the Police to be forth right. The most difficult thing is that, you are the IGP and something happens in Nkoranza, you were not there but your name will be added, your picture will be on the front-pages. I expect the IGP to direct the action because command and control rest with him.”