Law lecturer, Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee, is convinced Ghana’s chief investigator breached a major professional tenet over her public comments on the kidnapped Takoradi girls.
The Ghana Institute of Public Administration (GIMPA) Law School lecturer said Saturday on Newsfile that, despite COP Tiwaa Addo-Danquah’s attempts to defend what many have called an obvious gaffe, her conduct was indefensible.
“It’s sad. Following everything that has been happening, it’s sad. You look at her, you look at how far she has come, you’d really like to be behind her. You’d really like to have her back but the truth is her conduct is indefensible. There is nothing to defend.
“You want, with all your heart, to defend her but if you are honest with yourself, which you have to be, you realise that it is not defensible,” Mrs Kasser-Tee said on the Joy FM/MultiTV current affairs programme.
Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah’s “we know where the girls are” public declaration at a presser on April 2, has kicked started a wave of criticisms.
At the press conference, she refused to give further details about the whereabouts of the three girls who were reported kidnapped since last year but gave the assurance that her officers were working to reunite the girls with their families.
Many security analysts and some top government officials hold the view that the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), should not have revealed that police knew the whereabouts of the girls.
However, in a sudden U-turn, the CID boss -- who could be the next Inspector-General of Police -- said her comments have been misconstrued as the declaration that the police knew where the girls were, was to give the police hope.
Many have interpreted this U-turn to mean that the police did not know where the girls were.
A former police chief blamed the bold declaration and the subsequent U-turn on intelligence failure.
Speaking on Newsfile, Mrs Kasser-Tee said the controversy over the CID boss’ comments is a clear lesson in professionalism for public office holders.
“Every professional owes a personal responsibility to be professional in your office. If you are in public office you owe a duty to be candid to the people of Ghana. You owe a duty to act in the welfare of the people of Ghana. In her [COP Addo-Danquah] case, assuming it was even true that they had found the girls, was it professional to announce that in a press conference to the media,” asked.
The GIMPA Law School lecturer further explained that, the revelation that the police knew where the girls are was not made in private conversation with the families of the three missing girls – suggesting it could not have been a hope-giving exercise.
She reminds public officials to always be professional, candid and act in ways they believe is in the welfare of Ghanaians.
“Now, her continuous holding of the office, does it instil confidence in the people? We have to be honest and answer that question,” she stated.
She, however, declined to provide her own answer to the question.
Contributing to the discussion on the news analysis programme, private legal practitioner and former Dean at GIMPA Law School, Kofi Abotsi, said the comment by COP Tiwaa Addo-Danquah and the brouhaha that it has generated, is a smaller aspect of a bigger problem.
“Police have had long-standing systemic and structural problems but it’s reflected in the situation we find ourselves in,” he said.
Kofi Abotsi said police communication, which is the major issue, has always been a major problem.
“Clearly she misspoke,” he said but said the matter must bring to the fore the need to address systemic and structural communications gaps within the police service.