It would not be the first, second, or even the third time that national attention has been drawn to a case of a political appointee – or an elected political office holder – for going head to head with the law in a way that makes them appear to be above it.
For the avoidance of doubt, the 1992 Constitution of Ghana remains the highest law of the land as Chapter One, Article 1 Clause 2 says, “This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Ghana and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”
But the practice of this law has not always been exacted among the very citizens for which this constitution was drafted, and Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, a security expert, believes it is because there is a breakdown in procedural structures.
“All these things are indicative of the fact that people in power don’t still understand the fact that they serve and are not to be served. The system has created such a situation where people in authority believe, or some people in authority believe that their position gives them some embers and for them to disregard constitutionalism and or institutionalism. This is unfortunate; it didn’t start today,” he said in an interview with GhanaWeb.
Dr Antwi-Danso was reacting to the arrest of the Municipal Chief Executive Officer for Sekondi Takoradi, Abdul-Mummin Issah, for an alleged motor traffic offence.
The MCE is said to have verbally assaulted a police officer who was performing his lawful duty.
He has since been slapped with three charges relating to the following: assault of a public officer, offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace, and disturbing the peace in a public place contrary to Sections 205, 207 and 298, respectively, of the Criminal and Other Offences Act of 1960, Act 29.
The Command also said he has been charged for dangerous driving contrary to Section 1 of Act 683 of 2004 as amended by Act 761 of 2008.
“I see the incident as one of an undisciplined, power-drunk person who believes that the system serves him instead of serving the public and this is not the first time,” Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso again asserts.
MCE granted bail
After the Metropolitan Chief Executive for Sekondi–Takoradi, Abdul Mumin-Issah, was dragged to a Circuit Court in Takoradi presided over by His Honour Micheal Ampadu, he was granted a bail of GH¢100,000 and the case adjourned to Thursday, March 17, 2022.
Why the MCE must be sacked
Dr. Valdimir Antwi-Danso has a firm stance on this saga:
“We don’t need to go further at all. I think from what happened, he should advise himself and I believe that’s the way; I heard the audio very well, if everything turns out to be true, I don’t see why he should be allowed to stay on.”
But that is not all. He explained that owing to past instances where some people in authority have rather gotten away with getting around the law, this particular incident should be the perfect test case to sanitize the system.
And he is even more optimistic because of the person at the helm of the Ghana Police Service today.
“We had a situation where one DCE some time back – the popular one who said tweaa, another DCE was alleged to have slapped somebody and then there are several instances.
“On the (Tema) Motorway, we heard also when one MP was saying he was in a hurry to parliament and he was disobeying traffic regulations. I know some policemen have done it: the Chief Superintendent Awuni, he’s late, was reputed to have locked the former Greater Accra regional minister; locked him in police cells while voting was going on. We learned of a deputy minister coming from Cape Coast, eating kenkey, a policeman accosted him and he was so wild and reported the case to the IGP then.
“And I can tell you that this current IGP who I know personally, will absolutely not tolerate such a thing so, when we have such an IGP, this is the time to nip this in the bud to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
What are the impacts?
Here is Dr Valdimir Antwi-Danso once again sharing his perspectives on what the continuous disregard of the laws of the country by people in authority could portend for the country and its institutions.
“I was mad when the earlier example I gave of the minister, the then IGP rather interdicted the officers who stopped the vehicle of the deputy minister. So, the first impact is that it will bring down morale in the institutions. It will dampen the spirit of the officers and men in those institutions that are built to ensure law and order and so it must be tackled so the institutions are emboldened to do their work.
“They go to places and they believe their positions give them the right; these things must be stopped, and that it has repercussions on the institutions and then they can only act when they have the small flies but when the big flies come, they allow them in. That is an act of corruption and the institutions will only serve the governments in power and we will have a security that is a regime security instead of a national security,” he said.
At the end of the day, Abdul-Mumin Issah has received his first whip on the back from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the form of a suspension. But that is not enough. Setting an example of him like our security expert suggests is the way to go.
Will the president be bolder enough to crack the whip completely?
Author: Etsey Atisu