A year ago, investigative journalist, Ahmed Suale was murdered by unknown assailants near his residence. Ahmed Suale, who had collaborated with the BBC in his work with another investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was shot dead near his family home at Madina.
The work, Number 12, exposed corruption at Ghana’s football management body, the Ghana Football Association (GFA). Many lost their jobs as a result of the investigative work and reputations built over decades came tumbling down as key elements involved in Ghana football were caught in a mesh of corruption, bribery, and conflict of interest quicksand. Football in Ghana was subsequently suspended for over a year and the entire leadership of the Association dissolved.
It is believed he was killed because of his work.
His death contributed to Ghana losing its status as Africa’s best-ranked country in the World Press Freedom Index – the country dropped from 23 to 27. Suale’s unresolved case only, unfortunately, serves as a reminder of the Police Service’s weakness and more harshly, ineptitude and the failure of governments to adequately resource the law enforcement agency.
The level of ineffectiveness being displayed by our Police Service is nearing legendary heights.
A case in point which dominated the better part of 2019 was their handling of the case involving the four Takoradi kidnapped girls. Right from the onset, they missed salient opportunities to make themselves relevant to the situation. Their communication with the family and the public in general on the case was inconsistent and smacked of brazen unprofessionalism.
All the Police Service did in the wake of the kidnapping was to give vain public assurances until they told Ghanaians they had discovered remains believed to be those of the girls. Prior to that, the CID Boss at the time, COP Tiwaa Addo Danquah resorted to what has now been described as false assurances, that they had found where the girls were kept. This was considered by many as a distraction from holding her accountable, and she was not sanctioned for misleading the public.
As a tax payer, I am even more pained when I consider how some of these police officers, tasked with the prime duty of ensuring law and order gleefully engage in criminal activities.
In April 2018, three police officers stationed at the Weija District Police Command were arrested by the Anti Robbery Squad for allegedly hiring out their assigned AK47 rifles to armed robbers. And this is just one of many criminal cases involving police officers.
The sheer negligence and apathy within the Police Service leave much to be desired.
Ghanaians were appalled to learn that some police officers investigating the murder of J.B Danquah had been sexually harassing the wife of the deceased.This is so heartless!
Successive government ought to take their fair share of the blame for failing to adequately resource the service with the requisite skills, technologies, and logistics needed to effectively deal with the new crime dynamics.
An eyewitness to Suale Ahmed Hussein’s assassination got the familiar but distressing response when he called the Police to come to the journalist’s rescue – They could not come immediately because all their patrol cars had hit town.
Given the aforementioned challenges, I believe both the Police Service and government have done very little to show their desire to ensure Ahmed Suale’s family gets justice. Just like past homicide cases, they have failed to investigate and prosecute killers involved in the act, consequently empowering persons interested in silencing journalists involved in exposing corrupt officials.
The State will be party to shrinking democracy if it fails to ensure justice is served in this case. Suale deserves justice. The State should take this matter up and act.
I also call on fellow taxpayers to rise up and demand unconditional provision of round the clock security to all citizens. We do not want to hear of any more kidnapping or extra-judicial killings. Also, Ghanaians must not fail in their responsibility of keeping their government accountable, for there is no government without the people!