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Officers appointed by the previous gov’t are not trusted by the new regime – ACP Agordzo (rtd.)

Benjamin Agordzo

According to retired senior police officer and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benjamin Agordzo, heads of various security services appointed by previous governments face challenges in earning the trust of a new regime, which often results in their dismissal. Agordzo further revealed that some officers resign on their own due to a lack of trust in their service by the new president.

However, ACP Agordzo, while speaking on Ghana Tonight on Tuesday, March 12, admitted that there are dangers associated with terminating the appointment of security heads by the new government, which has been the norm in recent years. “I admit that there are dangers, of course, there are dangers associated with this. But when you look at it critically, it is difficult for somebody who has been appointed by a previous government to work with another government, especially in this current dispensation

“I have seen and known at the police headquarters where previous IGP [Inspector General of Police] who has gone to newly elected president and told him that he wants to go, at least I know two,” ACP Agordzo revealed. “Because once there is a new president and you were appointed by the previous president, you cannot be trusted and because you cannot be trusted there is no way you can work effectively in the new government,” he added.

Against this background, ACP Agordzo advocated for a complete constitutional amendment to tackle the issue. He said, “Unless we go for a complete constitutional amendment where we have stated the criteria for appointment, stated criteria for termination and then stated tenure, then we all have confidence in that system where everybody knows that this person was not selected based on political affiliation.”

ACP Agordzo continued by citing the system of practice in Kenya, where there is a police commission that shortlists three officers for the president to select one, stressing that “in that case, there is confidence in the IGP.” The retired senior police officer was reacting to IMANI Africa and Prof. Kwesi Aning’s suit at the Supreme Court seeking to prevent the President from dismissing heads of some security services whenever there is a change in government.

The IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, and Professor Kwesi Aning of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre have filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General over the selection processes for uniformed security agency chiefs. The petitioners have expressed concerns about the practice of new governments terminating the tenures of specific institution leaders.

“In some cases, these removals occur before the individual occupants of the office reach the statutory retirement age. For instance, in 2017, the then Director-General of the Prisons Service, Mr. Emmanuel Yao Adzator was asked to proceed on leave at the age of 54 and subsequently another was appointed in his stead.

“The President of the Republic of Ghana upon assumption of Office does not have the power to make a fresh appoint to the office of the Chief Fire Officer of the Fire Service; Inspector General of Police; Director General of Prisons Service and Comptroller General of the Immigration Service unless the immediate holder of the office is deceased,” portions of the writ stated.

By: Emmanuel Kwarteng

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