IGP George Akuffo Dampare

The Inspector-General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare has queried the British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson for engaging in the internal affairs of the country.

The Commissioner seems to be facing the wrath of the Police for expressing interest in the case of a convener of #FixTheCountryMovement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor following his second arrest within a short span of time.

In a tweet on May 17, Ms Thompson said, “Oliver Barker Vormawor, convener of #FixTheCountry Movement, arrested again, I understand for a motoring offence on his way to court. I’ll be interested to see where this goes.”

But in reaction to the Commissioner's tweet, the IGP in a letter stated that, "the tweet is a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 which enjoins diplomatic missions not to interfere in the internal affairs of their host country.”

He noted that ordinarily, the Ghana Police Service would not have replied to a comment that he described as having been made from a “biased or uninformed position.”

However, he noted that “we have learnt from previous, painful experience that it has not been helpful to ignore such misguided, unwarranted, and biased comments intended to tarnish the reputation of the Ghana Police Service and that of our country.”

Amidst questioning the moral rights the Commissioner has to raise concerns on the modus operandi of the Police, IGP Dampare noted that Britain does not hesitate to deal with leaders of certain religious groups who have been tagged as terrorists for threatening the security of their country.

“As our former colonial power and the source of our legal, judicial and criminal justice architecture and indeed, of our Police Service, we continue to look up to Britain among other countries for guidance with regard to how difficult situations are handled.

“Do you not think we the Ghanaian people also deserve a peaceful country?” he quizzed.

In the same correspondence addressed to Ms Thompson, Dr Dampare outlined some 15 questions for the Commissioner to deliberate on.

“Maybe reflecting on these questions will help you appreciate our position on such matters:”

i. Are there instances in your country where people are permitted to openly threaten the security of the state with a coup?

ii. In instances where individuals have threatened the security of a state, does your criminal justice system celebrate such persons and urge them on to destabilise your country?

iii. As a Foreign Service officer, even though you might not have personal experience, you doubtless, have access to the records of the periods of unrest and coups in Ghana; are you really wishing on us, a return to those times?

iv. Are you able to direct us to instances in your country where citizens are permitted to insult, attack and incite your Army and other security apparatuses to destabilize the country?

v. Do people get arrested for traffic offences in your country?

vi. Is it the case that a person on his/her way to a British court cannot be pulled over for traffic offences or any other offences for that matter?

vii. Are you still persuaded, three days after your Tweet that you were within the bounds of the Vienna Convention which regulates the conduct of diplomats in the countries in which they serve?

viii. Should you get involved in the domestic/internal affairs, especially security issues of the sovereign state in which you are serving as a diplomat?

ix. Do you know of any instances where Ghanaian diplomats in Britain have involved themselves in your internal affairs?

X. Is there any particular reason why of all the people arrested daily for various offences in Ghana, you are especially interested in this person's case?

xi. Is it the case that you don't have confidence in our justice delivery, criminal justice system and our court processes as a whole?

xii. Do you know the number of Members of Parliament, Chief Executives and other high-profile Ghanaians who have been arrested and prosecuted for road traffic offences and have submitted themselves to due process? If you care to know, we will be delighted to share the list with you.

xiii. Have the legally and internationally accepted limits associated with freedom of speech and association been stretched to the point where people can now say and act without regard to the sanctity, security and the very survival of a country? When it comes to such matters, are there any limits in place in your country?

xiv. Are you interested in the number of lives lost to road accidents and the number of injured persons, as well as families who have become destitute as a result of such accidents, caused by the infractions of people like the person of interest to you?

xv. Have you taken note of the innovations being introduced by the Ghana Police Service in recent times to deepen discipline, law and order, as well as protect lives and property in this country? Are you interested that we are doing our best to get it right?

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.