A retired police chief, Supt. Paul Avuyi, says monetisation of police recruitment in Ghana is pervasive and has been going on for years.
He said as teacher at the police training school in 2005, some recruits confided in him that they paid money before they were enlisted into the service.
Supt. Avuyi (retd.) in a statement issued in Accra, said this practice has gone on unabated for years whilst the police administration and police council look on.
Commissioner of Police, Patrick Timbilla was recently placed under house arrest for allegedly taking money and recruiting people into the police service.
The police administration said its preliminary investigations into the recruitment scam proved that Mr. Timbilla had been involved in the illegal recruitment.
The National Police Council subsequently issued a statement saying it endorsed the recommendations of the special investigative committee that indicted Mr. Timbilla.
But Mr. Avuyi says the Police Council must do more.
He argues it was not enough to endorse recommendations which were not made public in the first place.
Read the full statement of the retired police chief below:
TACKLE THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE RECRUITMENT SCAM-BY PAUL AVUYI/SUPT.RTD
Ghanaians have read the Police Council’s press statement on the police recruitment scam which was published on the Daily Graphic web-page of 24th March, 2015. The statement among other things stated that the Council has endorsed the recommendations of the Special Investigation Task Force.
The Ghana Police Service Council should not scratch the historical recruitment scam that hit the police service on 27/28th February 2015 on the surface but ensure that it identifies the root cause and deal with it appropriately.
Already, sections of the public have expressed doubts about the sincerity of the Council because the press statement was silent on the real findings and recommendations of the Task Force which it has endorsed.
Monetization of police recruitments has gone on for some years unchecked and it is worth noting that between the year 2012 and 2013, there were media reports about how signed recruitment letters were foundin a political party office and that some persons have paid various sums of monies to secure enlistment but were unsuccessful. Peace FM radio station carried out an extensive documentary on the malpractice and put it on air.
In the midst of these media reports, the Council is not known to have publicly called for a probe nor demanded accountability from the police administration on the issues reported.
“Little drops of water, form a mighty ocean”. And against this backdrop, monetization of recruitments which began little by little without any serious attempts to deal with it has eventually ended up in one of the biggest scams.
As far back as the year 2005, there were reports of applicants paying monies to get enlisted into the police service. While teaching at the police training school in Ho the same year, a group of police recruits confided in me that they paid 10million cedis(1,000.00gh) each at that time to secure enlistment. I shared that information with thePublic Relation Department but no serious action was taken to deal with it.
Nonetheless, can sections of the senior officers especially those at the national headquarters as well as those in charge of the training schools deny the fact that they are aware of the questionable and corruption-tainted recruitments that have been taking place? Or like the Council, they chose to remain silent because they were involved or were beneficiaries of protocol enlistment letters for relatives, friends or children. Moreover had the Council and these senior officers no knowledge of political interference and favors in Police recruitments to such an extent that some ministers, government/ party officials , DCEs, MCEs during enlistment exercises allegedly obtain enlistment letters for their relatives, children, constituents etc. under ‘protocol arrangements’ without their going through the standards required? And that some people who did not apply got their enlistment letters at home?
I dare and challenge the Council to order an investigation into the background of all serving junior officers recruited between the year 2005 and 2013 to ascertain the whole truth. Currently, some sections of these officers paid monies before securing recruitment, others got enlisted without applying, benefitted from protocol arrangement and did not meet the required standards in terms of educational qualification, height, age, and medical exams. These are real issues that have bedeviled the system and must be confronted head on without fear or favour.
One other thing that the Council should dig into is the rate of enlistments since 2004 to determine whether they were guided by any approved recruitment policy or just exercises to find jobs for the boys. Why should applicants with JHS educational qualification or illiterates who could not speak or write good English be enlisted into the Service instead of those having the relevant SSS qualification? No wonder standards have fallen over the years and indiscipline and criminality have reared their ugly heads because the Service has to some extent been turned into a family and political pool. The falling standards could be attributed to the fact that “quantity” and not “quality” seem to be the driving force behind enlistments within the past ten years.
The Council should determine the role the police administration played in turning the office of the Director General Human Resource/Training into a hub of recruitments over the years in fueling recruitment malpractices. It must also consider the shortlisting of candidates which has become corrupted and lacks equity, fairness and transparency.
In order to ensure transparency and public confidence, the Council should take appropriate measures to identify and tackle the underlying factors of all the malpractices associated with police recruitments. It must not facilitate any cover-up. The integrity of the Council and that of the police administration is at stake in this issue because there has been allegations that some other top senior officers at the police headquarters were also involved but COP Timbilla is being used as a scapegoat.