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Police investigating themselves violates natural justice – CHRI

Mina Mensah is the Head of Africa Office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)


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A human rights advocate says the police are “being a judge and a jury in their own cause” when they investigate complaints against some of their men.

The Head of Africa Office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) said this is a clear violation of the natural justice principle requiring that a man shall not adjudicate upon a matter in which he has an interest.

Mina Mensah was speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show [SMS] Monday in response to police investigations into complaints of assault brought against a police officer, Sergeant Ebenezer Asiedu of the police SWAT Unit, by some Ghanaian Times journalists.

Mr Malik Sullemana, a court reporter, Mrs Raissa Sambou, a general reporter and Mr Salifu Abdul Rahman, an assistant editor, suffered a brutal attack from the officers, leading to two of them being hospitalised.

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In a separate development Thursday a video went viral in which a trotro (commercial bus) driver and his conductor [mate] beat up a police officer.

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Even though the police have launched investigations into both cases, Mina Mensah said people will not trust the results of the investigations given that the police are interested parties in both cases.

To cure these, the head of the Africa Office of the CHRI has proposed an Independent Police Complaints Unit.

She argued that such a body will be moulded along the same architecture as the Independent Electoral Commission.

 According to her, her outfit, CHRI, has been working towards this project since 2007 and has since come out with a research document on the proposal which is engaging the attention of stakeholders.

But the proposal for the Independent Complaints Unit has been challenged on News Desk, a Joy News analysis programme, by Rev. Prof. Paul Yaw Frimpong Manso who is the President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC). 

Pentecostal council
 Rev. Prof. Paul Yaw Frimpong Manso is  the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) 

“We should make the existing police work,” he said, according to him “if they don’t work we should sack them, it is not necessary to form another association, which will also survive by money,“ he added.

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