The increased instances of mob injustice which have led to the lynching of innocent people on suspicion of being thieves, armed robbers or witches, without allowing the law to take its course have been attributed to distrust in the police and court system.
The Public Interest Research Advocacy Network (PIRAN) has noted in a statement issued in Kumasi that many people in certain communities have on countless number of instances, where suspected criminals and outlaws are left to go free or treated with kid’s gloves.
This encourages people to resort to this uncivilized and barbaric ways of seeking redress and justice that has been denied them by the law enforcement authorities.
The statement, jointly signed by Felix Djan Foh and Timothy Fiadjoe, President and Secretary respectively of the Kumasi-based NGO, noted that many individuals, groups and communities in Ghana are not pleased with the work of the police and court adjudication system, because of the belief that justice in some cases as shown in some of Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ undercover works, confirmed an open secret that justice is given to the highest bidder.
Thus making the poor offended party angry and trying to seek justice in their own way. PIRAN has, therefore, suggested that the law enforcement authorities be responsible to their duties of prosecution and adjudication of justice in a fair, honest and transparent manner, to restore the lost confidence of Ghanaians and to discourage people from resorting to inhuman and barbaric means of seeking justice.
According to PIRAN, the average Ghanaian does not see the readiness of the Police to win their trust and confidence with respect to the handling of certain criminal cases, because there have been instances where people who are supposed to be in either prison or police custody have been involved in crime and offences committed during their period of incarceration.
A case in point, according to the PIRAN statement, is the gruesome murder of the former Ashanti Regional GJA Chairman, Mr. Samuel Best Ennin, where some of the report that came suggested certain prison inmates might have escaped to commit the murder.
PIRAN also mentioned that there has also been an online publication by Kumasi-based Ultimate FM that a notorious armed robber, who is supposed to be in prison, is walking free and acting as a body guard to some prostitutes who give information about their clients to robbers to attack and rob them of their monies and properties.
“How would victims of these robbers on the loose feel if they see them on the street when the police are not available or the police station is far away”, it queried.
The NGO observed that many people are de-motivated to report offences to the police because of the lackadaisical attitude of some police men and women who allegedly make financial demands, including the hiring of cars by complainants to facilitate their (police) movement.
The NGO also cited a recent mob injustice in the Northern Region where a suspected motor bike thief’s throat was slashed by the mob that arrested him and his body was taken to Tamale West Hospital, an indication that many people still uphold the criminal way of seeking justice because they believe the authorities responsible may not be fair in adjudicating justice to their satisfaction.
It stated that 325 of the 500 people, representing 65% of the respondents in the survey said an emphatic ‘no’ whiles the remaining 175 out of the 500 respondents representing 35% said ‘yes’ they are pleased with the work of the police and the court.
The survey, according to PIRAN, was conducted in six selected regions out of the 10 regions with each region having 83 respondents in the major district capitals within the said selected regions of Northern, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Greater Accra, Volta and Central regions.
From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi