Many commercial drivers have normalized, if not justified bribing police officers to get away with committing road traffic offences.
A taxi driver, David Ayensu who worked at Tudu in Accra was part of the unlucky few that got hooked by the law after bribing a police officer with the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service with five Ghana cedis to atone for an offence.
According to Ayensu, the MTTD officer caught him driving with an expired driver’s licence but he bribed the uniformed man with five Ghana cedis in a bid to evade the consequences of his action.
“My renewed licence was seized by another police officer so I was using an old one. I knew I had erred so when the officer took the expired licence, I quickly took out GHC5 and filed it in an AMA operational card and handed it to him,” he recounted.
Ayensu said the patriotic police officer returned both licences to him without taking the money. He said the officer went ahead to discharge him.
He told crimecheckghana.org that while he was trying to escape from other patrol men who signaled him to stop, he flouted traffic light rules and crossed when it had turned ‘yellow.’
The taxi driver said he ignored the police officer because he claimed the cop would have let him go if he knew he attempted to give his colleague a bribe.
“The other officer chased me with a motorbike but I refused to stop even when some pedestrians prompted me. I crossed the yellow light at a point where the officer caught up with me,” he said.
The young man said the passenger aboard his vehicle confronted the police officer when he was asked to get off the car for another one.
“The driver gave your colleague GHC5 so why are you following him?” the passenger asked the police officer.
Ayensu said a brawl ensued between the passenger and the officer but he claimed he did not get involved but his car key scathed the police officer.
“Other policemen came around and accosted me to their office after the passenger had gone,” he indicated.
Ayensu said at the police station, he was subjected to torture and was sent to court the following day.
The young driver said he was charged with careless and inconsiderate driving, over which he was admitted to court.
“I was fined One Thousand Eight Hundred Ghana cedis but I could not pay. I was jailed for two years at the Ankaful Main Prison,” he narrated.
Crime Check Foundation (CCF) visited the prison and met Ayensu who narrated his story to the team.
The Chief Executive Officer of Agyare Real Estate Limited, Stephen Agyare Jr. supported CCF’s Petty Offenders project to pay Ayensu’s fine for his release.
The Petty Offenders project
Crime Check Foundation has facilitated the release of many convicts who committed minor crimes through its fine-paying module. This is aimed at helping to decongest the prisons among others.