General News of Friday, 11 January 2013
The Sunyani High Court One, on Thursday dismissed a writ filed against Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Robert Ayalingo, Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander.
The writ sought to restrain DCOP Ayalingo from holding himself as the Regional Police Commander after attaining the compulsory retiring age of 60.
The court presided over by Mr Justice Ofosu Quartey, ruled that “the defendant’s current employment and rank are proper and remain the current Regional Police Commander and should remain at post”.
Mr Quartey said the court did not award cost against the plaintiff because “Plaintiff took courage in filing the writ in a case which was of national interest since it is only a few courageous Ghanaians who can have courage to fight in the interest of the public” and is, therefore, “a patriot”.
Mr Kwame Baffoe, a resident of Odumase in the Sunyani West District, filed a writ in November last year seeking the court to declare that DCOP Ayalingo, having attained the compulsory retiring age and having been formally retired, could not hold himself out as the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander, and that his continuous stay in office was wrongful and unlawful.
The plaintiff was seeking an order from the court to restrain the defendant from holding himself out as Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander and other relief that the court might deem fit.
Mr Baffoe in a statement of claim filed on his behalf by Mr Eric Ansah Ankomah of Enso Nyame Ye Chambers in Sunyani, said DCOP Ayalingo until September 3, 2012 was the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander, and after attaining the statutory retirement age, his engagement with the Ghana Police Service (GPS) officially came to an end on September 3, 2012.
The plaintiff contended that upon his retirement, the defendant was written to by the GPS to handover to his Second-in-Command but refused, and subsequently worked out his way and was given a year’s contract.
The plaintiff averred that by the rules and regulations of the GPS, a retired police officer, after receiving a contract to work for the Service, cease to wear police uniform and his rank should be reduced by one step.
He said in the case of DCOP Ayalingo, his rank was not reduced and continued to wear police uniform and was parading himself as Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander, though by the Police Service regulation he could not be a Regional Police Commander.
The plaintiff said a Regional Commander of the GPS was a sensitive position that should jealously be guarded for only serving officers and not retired officers on contract.
Additionally, he contended that a Regional Police Commander is a member of the Regional Security Council, which decisions affect all the people in the region.
The plaintiff stated that DCOP Ayalingo’s position as Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander albeit unlawful would give him the opportunity to issue instructions and command to all serving officers and other junior ranks in the region to shape the way and manner citizens’ rights and security were handled.
He said the continuous stay in office of DCOP Ayalingo as the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander was not only unlawful but a security threat to the people in the area.