The warning by the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) that no police officer found negligent in the matter of the kidnapped Takoradi girls would be spared the Police Administration’s sanction is appropriate and exciting.
Even more exciting is the suggestion that a form of investigation is ongoing to establish whether or not there was wrongdoing on the part of any of the law enforcement officers in the jurisdiction of the kidnapping.
This comes on the heels of the insistence of the father of one of the kidnapped girls that a certain Ametepey, a detective, be investigated. He was transferred out of the jurisdiction in the heat of the kidnapping brouhaha and Ghanaians were not told the reason for the action.
We find the transfer suspicious considering the circumstances under which the movement was ordered by the Police Administration.
The transfer was ordered with no mention of a probe into the issue raised by the concerned parent. Such a movement without explanation will, of course, prompt questions about the propriety or otherwise of the action.
Transparency is very critical in such matters without which mistrust will set in and make even murkier an already murky issue on our hands as a nation.
The said officer – a certain Ametepey – should be cleared or nailed where complicity in a bad deed is established for him to either continue serving as a police officer. It has always been a practice to transfer police officers who mess up themselves at a particular jurisdiction; an obvious anomaly which does not encourage public confidence in the law enforcement agency.
The people of Takoradi in particular need a reassurance that the law enforcement is peopled with officers who are not only above board but also ready to offer them protection.
In such matters, communication matters a lot. Ghanaians must be told about the outcome of the investigations into the concerns raised by the aggrieved father. We would especially want to know who authorized the transfer of the said Ametepey and whether or not the action was intended to offer him a cover of sorts.
We must state that the acting IGP has so far showed a commitment to allow due process to be employed in the management of law enforcement in the country especially in the case of bad policing. We may be too quick to do this assessment, these are early days yet.
The visit he undertook to the families of the missing girls in Takoradi was soothing and we must state that it underscores the fact that law enforcement goes beyond effecting arrests and even firing in self-defence. It includes as the IGP has done, offering succor through kind expressions and assurances under unusual circumstances such as the Takoradi episode in which three families have had their daughters kidnapped; their fate unknown.