Criminologist and legal practitioner Prof. Ken Agyemang Attafuah says that the least the police can do to make up for their Rambo-style raid on the opposition New Patriotic Party offices is to apologize.
He described as pitiful the police’s excuse that the raid was justified by overriding national interest and the need to maintain the peace.
Prof. Attafuah told Joy News the police must assure the citizenry that they will protect their rights at all times and never abuse them in the name of keeping the peace.
The opposition NPP has accused the police of raiding and ransacking its offices, and carting away laptops and sheets of paper from which a group of young men were piecing together evidence to bolster its case challenging the declaration of president John Mahama as winner of Friday’s poll.
The party claims that gun-toting policemen raided its offices and ordered about 30 young men working on their laptops to lie down or be shot during a search of the entire building that police conducted without a warrant.
Police Public Affairs Director DSP Cephas Arthur told Joy News it was necessary to act proactively, especially in the wake of the NPP’s rejection of the election results and its attendant skirmishes.
“We had information that some group of macho men numbering about 20 had arrived at a spot at Asylum Down near the Embassy of Burkina Faso and were offloading packages likely to contain arms; nobody knew that it was [the NPP’s] collation centre,” he stated.
Mr. Arthur said given the happenings in the capital, (NPP supporters have rallied at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to register their protest), “I don’t think any serious security agency would sit numb and look on until some big havoc had been caused to the country before” taking action.
Prof. Attafuah, describing the police’s reaction as regrettable, said “nobody invites the police to sit down unconcerned in a time like this but the police have to pipe down…and take a very humane approach” in dealing with such situations.
He said that police should adopt a Rambo-style approach only “when you are dealing gangs.”
A cursory look at the election results, he said, indicates that over 47 per cent of Ghana’s voting population wanted a different outcome to the election and dealing with their concerns with in this manner could amplify tensions in the country.