Ghana Police Force Under Scrutiny: The #OccupyJulorbiHouse Protest Incident
In a recent development, the Police Management Board (POMAB) in Ghana has summoned Accra Regional Police Commander, COP Sayibu Gariba, to answer for the excessive force demonstrated by the police during the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest. The protest, which saw demonstrators express their discontent with the government’s economic policies and alleged corruption, was met with a forceful response from the police on September 21. This led to the arrest of nearly 50 individuals, including journalists.
The incident has drawn sharp criticism from the citizens of Ghana, who have accused their police force of using unnecessary force against unarmed civilians. Recognizing the seriousness of the incident, the Police Service has taken the first step towards accountability – questioning COP Gariba and requesting a thorough explanation for the incident. In addition, a comprehensive investigation into the incident is underway.
The #OccupyJulorbiHouse Protest: A Call for Economic Reform and Transparency
The #OccupyJulorbiHouse protests were organized by Democracy Hub, a group demanding that the government address the nation’s economic issues and investigate allegations of corruption. The three-day protests, which took place from September 21 to September 23, saw participants assemble at the 37 Lorry Station, intending to march to the Jubilee House, the government’s headquarters. However, the police thwarted their march towards the Jubilee House.
The Police Service has since apologized to the public for the disruption caused by the protests, acknowledging the citizens’ right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
Ghana Police Service: A History of Excessive Force
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that the Ghana Police Service has been spotlighted for its use of excessive force. Earlier in the year, reports emerged of police officers brutalizing citizens without provocation. Incidents of police violence have led to a tarnished reputation for the service, with widespread perceptions of the police force as intimidating, violent, and corrupt.
Furthermore, there have been cases where police officers have used force due to a lack of strong bonds within the service and a disregard for rules about the appropriate use of force. The underlying issues of corruption, poor supervision, and unfair treatment of lower-ranked officers contribute to a systemic problem within the Ghana Police Service.
Addressing the Issue: A Call for Systemic Reform
Addressing the issues within the Ghana Police Service requires more than just punishing individual officers. It involves acknowledging and addressing the systemic conditions within the service that perpetuate misconduct. Poor supervision, inadequate training, and unfair treatment of lower-ranked officers are conditions that need to be addressed to improve the police force’s treatment of civilians.
While the government’s approach has so far been reactive, responding to public pressure to investigate instances of police violence, there is a need for a more proactive approach. This includes developing national standards, ensuring that the rule of law is upheld, and holding the police force accountable for their actions.
For now, all eyes are on the Ghana Police Service and the government, as Ghanaians await concrete actions that will restore their confidence in the police force and the justice system.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.