Samson’s Take: Act professionally, stop the abuse IV

Samson’s Take: Act professionally, stop the abuse IV

Suicidal soldier – CDS to the rescue. That was my first title upon receiving the good news. But I had to remind myself it is a series whose title must not depart from the previous ones in the last three weeks.

I have had an encounter, cordial and responsive, with the Ghana Army, and I am mandated to tell you that if any officer or the military police ever tried to arrest or detain you for “military discipline”, don’t only resist but file a complaint.

Yes, any misguided element in the uniform that ought to be respected, wielding the gun that you pay for, who attempts to treat you, a civilian as though you were under military discipline must be exposed for sanctions. In fact, many should actually be suing to check the abuse of the uniform and gun.

You have heard me educate and denounce the unlawful conduct where some wealthy or influential persons turn unscrupulous soldiers into debt collectors and land guards. The Chief of Defence Staff and his lieutenants denounce the abuse. They are united with the civilian populace against the conduct and assure that they will deal with such complaints with the speed of light.

You have heard me condemn such unlawful and unconstitutional conduct in the last few of weeks. No officer has the blessing of the army leadership to engage in such, so stand up against the errant officers.

 Lance Corporal Kofi Andrews gets rescue from the guardroom. I have told the story about how he has been in there at Michel Camp unlawfully since November 2022 when their own law commands that an officer under discipline must be released if not tried after 90 days. There is clear admission that those who supervised his detention erred and violated his rights in a most unfair manner.

Though the letter from his lawyers was endorsed as received on 5th December 2022, it did not, for some reason, get to the CDS for action until I delivered a copy this week. Upon expiration of 90 days in the guardroom, adjutants have on several occasions denied his request to speak to commanders who forgot about him there.

If you cannot try someone within the time stipulated by law, release them but secure their attendance when needed. Actively involve your legal departments to avoid some of the embarrassments you put the attorney-general through when matters get to court. Don’t use your position to abuse.

The purpose of position and power is the welfare and advancement of the people and entities for whom you have the position or power. I will say no more. I am satisfied by the firm assurance at the highest level that the wrong will be remedied. The fact that there will be increased frequency in high level monitoring of guardrooms to ensure not even a single person’s liberty is abused in such manner again is reassuring – that’s what proactive leaders do.

Law and order may have broken down in Ashaiman, but there can be no alternative to due process of law in a democracy to dealing with any group of law-breakers. I join the CDD, OccupyGhana and all lovers of rule of law to repeat the demand for sanctions and compensation for what is admitted to be one of the excesses on that day.

The Ghana Army must remain a symbol of discipline home and abroad. The uniform and gun must be feared as a protective security brand commanding public support and not rather evoke images of insecurity especially in the poor, hate or anything that compromises our collective security and undermines our democracy.

That’s My Take.