Protocol recruitment system breeding crooks into the military

A  security expert who wants to be anonymous, has attributed the in­creasing involve­ment of security personnel in criminal activities to in­adequate scrutiny during recruitment of personnel into the various security services.

The expert specifically cited the practice where sen­ior officers of the security services are given quotas which enable them to bring people to gain automatic entry into the services.

The security expert said top officers are normally given a quota of two persons each for enlistment, often de­scribed as protocol.

The expert said the prac­tice impacts negatively on the integrity of security services as criminals and members of organised crime groups find their way into the services.

Speaking to The Finder, the expert said a greater per­centage of officers caught en­gaging in criminal activities have been found to be those recruited through the quota system, in which little or no background checks were con­ducted.

It would be recalled that a number of security personnel have been arrested for engag­ing in criminal activities such as kidnapping and robbery.

Police officers engaged in crime
The Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau under the Ghana Po­lice Service said 108 police officers were dismissed from the service between January 2011 and June 2013 after they were found guilty of various offences.

An additional 132 person­nel of the service were de­moted while 239 were sanctioned during the period.

For the first quarter of this year, 21 police personnel were dismissed for various acts of misconduct.

Only a few weeks ago, one Chief Inspector Paul Ak- pali of the Golokwati Police Station was interdicted for es­corting seven bags of sub­stances suspected to be Indian hemp.

In August 2013, Lance Corporal Benjamin Tekutey of the Kakcito Police Station, under the Ashaiman Divi­sion, managed to provide his civilian friend with a police uniform and they both at­tacked a Chinese national, Xiangmen, and his two friends at gunpoint around the Tetteh-Quarshie round­about.

In another horrifying inci­dent, Robert Penning Am- ponsah and Isaac Nimako Yeboah (both General Lance Corporals) allegedly robbed their victims of huge sums of money in parts of Accra be­tween October 2013 and Jan­uary 2014. They claimed to have committed the; offence together with General Lance Corporal Andrew Adu-Poku and one Bright, both reported to be on the run.

Five soldiers and two po­lice officers believed to be members of robbery syndi­cates operating in some parts of the country were also ar­rested by the Ashanti Re­gional Police Command last year.

Soldiers in criminal activ­ities
Two soldiers – Lance Cor­porals Michael Gwira Forkes, 25, and Dickson Reuben, 26 – were arrested by the police, for robbery.

The two, together with one Iddrisu (at large), all sta­tioned at the Tema Eastern Naval Command, allegedly robbed people of various sums of money totalling GH£27,508 and £2,200.

In May 2012, four sus­pected armed robbers, includ­ing a discharged army officer, Iddrisu Ato, 31, and a police­man, L/Cpl. Martin Adjare, 38, attached to the Mobile Force Unit, were arrested by officers of the Accra Re­gional Police Command at Achimota in Accra.

In November 2012, two soldiers – Cpl. Opoku Amankwa and L/Cpl. Adu Owusu Prince – were ar­rested for their alleged in­volvement in the robbing and kidnapping of a Nigerian trader resident in Ghana.

A 32-year-old Corporal, Emmanuel Owusu-Yeboah of the Ghana Air Force, and other alleged accomplices were arrested by the police for their alleged involvement in a series of robberies in the Tarkwa area of the Western Region.

The other suspects were Ahmed Edusah, 28; Michael Tetteh, 32; Christian Obina Anomu, 32; Joseph Boafo, 25; Nana Yaw Tuffuor; and Mark Lawrence Madugba Chison, 36.

Prison officers in robbery
The Ashanti Regional Po­lice Command arrested two prison officers and two civil­ian accomplices believed to be members of a robbery syn­dicate operating in the region.

Lance Corporal Prince Quaye, 27, and 2nd Class Of­ficer Adu Mensah, 26, both serving warders at Amanfrom Camp Prison in the region, were caught red-handed.

The security expert, who prefers not to be named, said for some time now the Police Service in particular has stopped recruiting personnel through open advertisement in the media, as has been the normal practice.

The expert said the prac­tice has been so abused to the extent that there are no rigor­ous background checks on those who are finally en­listed, and this has resulted in many bad nuts finding their way into the service.

Because of these “secret recruitments,” a lot of civil­ians and some senior pofice officers have taken advantage of the situation to extort money from unsuspecting in­dividuals who want to join the service.

The expert described the situation as a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

“There will be a time when all the duty-conscious officers will retire and crooks will be handling issues of se­curity if care is not taken,” the expert warned.

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