The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, has given assurance to Parliament that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, will not be dismissed. He stated that both he and the government are satisfied with the IGP’s performance, and therefore, there are no intentions to remove him from his position.
The minister emphasized the government’s commitment to ensuring a free and fair election in 2024, asserting that there are no plans to replace the IGP. He further assured that the government will take necessary measures to maintain peace and prevent any disruptions until the 2024 elections.
On Wednesday, July 12, 2023, the Minister for the Interior addressed Parliament regarding a statement from the minority party, which proposed an inquiry into an alleged plot to remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP). The minister stated that the government was prepared to investigate any actions that could potentially endanger the country’s peace, including the recently leaked tape. He assured the House that no exceptions would be made in scrutinizing such activities.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Armah Kofi Buah, made an urgent statement in accordance with Order 72 of the Standing Orders of the House. He addressed the alleged audio recording that discussed the removal of the current IGP. Referring to the recording, he requested the Speaker to permit Parliament to thoroughly examine its content.
Mr. Buah emphasized that the alleged audio recording should be a matter of concern for the Members of Parliament, as safeguarding the integrity of the fourth republic should be of utmost importance. He stressed the need to prioritize the protection of the nation’s democratic system.
James Agalga, the Member of Parliament for Builsa North, expressed concern that the main issue highlighted in the alleged audio recording had not received adequate attention. He referenced the incidents of electoral violence in Techiman South as evidence supporting the need for an investigation.
Agalga emphasized that there appeared to be a deliberate plan to undermine the sovereignty of Ghanaian citizens in the upcoming 2024 elections. He stated that efforts were being made to remove the current IGP in favor of an individual who would compromise the integrity of the institution.
Haruna Iddrisu, the former Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, appealed to the Speaker to authorize a forensic investigation into the alleged audio recording. He emphasized the importance of safeguarding democracy and protecting the nation’s democratic processes.
Eric Opoku, the Member of Parliament for Asunafo South, expressed surprise at the lack of concern from their counterparts on the other side of the House regarding the consolidation of democracy. He found it unexpected that there was an argument over the matter.
The Minority party was pushing for a comprehensive forensic analysis of the alleged audio recording to determine its authenticity. They believed that such an investigation was necessary to establish the truthfulness or falsehood of the leaked audio. Their objective was to ensure transparency and maintain the professional integrity of the IGP while reassuring citizens about the fairness and freedom of the upcoming elections.
Patrick Boamah, the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi Central, stated that neither the Inspector General of Police (IGP) nor any serving military officer has the power to influence the outcome of an election in the country.
He provided historical examples to support his point, mentioning that former President Rawlings had an IGP but still lost the election to Kufuor. Furthermore, Kufuor appointed his own IGP, but the ruling party was changed in 2008. Similarly, John Mahama, who was in office as President, lost the election in 2016 despite having an IGP appointed by him.
Boamah emphasized that there is a proper procedure for inviting the House to investigate a matter and cautioned his colleagues on the opposing side against making claims that the IGP could impact election results. He suggested focusing on discussions regarding the overall security of the country rather than creating an impression that the conduct of the IGP could determine electoral outcomes.
He gave examples of instances in 1997 and 1999 where his political party faced intimidation by the police in Afigya Kwabre and Ablekuma Central respectively. However, despite these challenges, the NPP still won those seats. He also mentioned a case in 2000 where NPP agents were arrested by the police, but the party emerged victorious in that election as well.
The Majority party shared the concern expressed by the Minority but emphasized that it was crucial not to create an impression that the IGP could determine the outcome of an election. While not disagreeing with the need for an investigation, they underscored the importance of focusing on the perception that an IGP’s conduct can influence electoral results.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, acknowledged the ongoing debate and the sentiment expressed by the members of the House, who were calling for an investigation into the alleged audio recording.
However, he instructed the honorable member who made the statement to provide a written submission outlining the specific terms and details of the proposed investigation. This written submission would assist the Speaker in giving appropriate guidance on the nature and scope of the inquiry.
He directed the honorable member to submit the written document, which would then guide him in determining how the investigation or inquiry would be conducted by the relevant committee of the House.