A retired intelligence officer has averred that deep-seated poor intelligence systems at the Ghana Police Service caused a controversial comment by a member of police top hierarchy.
Paul Avuyi, a former Police Chief Superintendent, said Wednesday evening on PM Express that intelligence gathering has not been given the priority it deserves in the operations of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over the years.
Mr Avuyi was reacting to a widely-criticised revelation by the Director General of the Police CID, Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, about some three young ladies reported missing in Takoradi since last year.
Hope to families
Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah had told reporters in April at a press conference that “we know where the girls are,” at the height of a public campaign to force police to give the matter the necessary attention.
She had said that together with the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) another intelligence gathering agency, the Police CID was working to return the missing girls safely and appealed to families of the victims to “keep on keeping on.”
Those comments were criticised by security analysts as poorly executed and unprofessional.
In an attempt last week to explain the failure of the police to produce the girls despite her bold promise a month ago, COP Tiwaa Addo-Danquah said she only made those comments to give hope to the families of the missing girls.
She said she may have been misconstrued when she said police know where the girls were because she spoke a local language.
This recent comment has also courted public anger with many demanding her resignation.
Mr Avuyi also agrees that the delivery of the information on the missing girls has been in bad taste but said a framework of poor intel gathering within the CID lies at the heart of the COP Addo-Danquah’s gaffe.
Photo: Paul Avuyi
“Because if the intelligence gathering system was adequate, I think they would have discovered the girls long ago. But I think that something got missing and that is…intelligence,” he told the host of PM Express, Evans Mensah.
Communication is problem
Ranking Member on Parliament’s Defense and Interior Committee, James Agalga, also said on the show that COP Addo-Danquah could have saved herself further embarrassment if she had not suggested that she was misconstrued.
“For me, the communication was a problem. But she didn’t even go there at all. She didn’t tell us that her earlier statement, which was subsequently contradicted by she herself, was as a result of intelligence failure.
“In fact, she tried to…question the intelligence of Ghanaians when she tried to say she was misconstrued. But how do you say that to 30 million Ghanaian?” Mr Agalga demanded.
The families of the missing girls have been desperate for news of their daughters and their whereabouts since Priscilla Bentum was kidnapped in August 2018 – the first of the three kidnappings.
Two more girls were grabbed in December before the story grabbed nationwide attention.
Joy News has launched a #bringbackourTaadigirls campaign.
A suspect in the case, a Nigerian named Samuel Udoetuk Wills has been imprisoned for breaking cells.