The Office of the Special Prosecutor has extended its tentacles into the Ghana Police Service as it begins investigations into the recruitment of course 51 cadet officers into the Ghana Police Academy.
A statement signed by the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, on March 17, 2022, said the investigations will relate to corruption-related offences and the abuse of office by the individuals involved.
The terse statement was scanty in details including when the recruitment happened and those behind it.
“The investigations target specific cases of alleged corruption, and corruption-related offences of the use of office for profit, abuse of office, abuse of power, favouritism, nepotism, victimization and the selection of unqualified persons,” it said.
This is the first time the special prosecutor has thrown its net into fishy waters of the many recruitment-related scandals the country has recorded.
But it will not be the first time an agency has commenced investigations into a recruitment scam, particularly within the Police Service.
The biggest in recent history led to the dismissal of the Director-General in charge of Human Resources of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP), Patrick Timbillah.
His dismissal was all there was to show for the scandal that caused the police major disgrace. No one was prosecuted.
That action did little to enhance perceptions of corruption in police recruitment in Ghana.
Analysts say that recruitment-related fraud was a major dent on the image of the police at a time, the law enforcement agency was reeling from accusations that its officers were in the habit of extorting money from people.
The victims in the Timbillah case, who numbered about 200 paid between GHS 2000-4000 into bank accounts, some of which the police said was traced to him.
Then police spokesperson David Ampah-Benin said the recruitment scam “…was so well-organised that all the victims were given letters purported to have been written by the police administration.”
That would not be the last. In May and November 2017, two more incidents occurred.
General Sergeant Kennedy Asomani was put before an Accra Circuit Court for collecting GH₵100,000 from forty-four persons under the pretext of enlisting them into the Ghana Police Service.
A 62-year-old female retired fire officer, Kate Eva Boateng, was arrested for pocketing Ghc56,000 as an incentive to get six people recruited into various security agencies.
In August 2021, the Director-General of Police Public Relations, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kwesi Ofori, warned that anyone who engaged in a recruitment scam would be arrested.
“Any fraudster who wants to take advantage of the publication of the Ghana Police Service 2021 recruitment process to swindle people will be dealt with ruthlessly according to the law.”
But another happened in September 2021. This, however, was led by a three-man civilian gang who were arrested in Madina in the Greater Accra Region.
The police and the judiciary often top the list of public organisations perceived to be the most corrupt by the Center for Democratic Governance (CDD) Ghana surveys.