Director –General, Legal and Prosecutions of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP), Mr Nathan Kofi Boakye, has called on commanders to enforce electoral laws, especially the vigilante law without fear or favour to enhance the nation’s democracy.
He said the police had over the years played an important role in the Democratic dispensation of the country and that the citizenry were expecting them to do more in the forthcoming elections.
COP Mr Boakye made the call during a day’s capacity building workshop on “Prosecution of Electoral Related Offences” attended by 230 officers and men drawn from six Divisions and three Units in the Western Region.
The workshop is being organised in all the Regions except the Volta region, and would sharpen the skills, knowledge, attitude and efficiency of the police to enable them perform their duties effectively.
It is also to equip them with all the relevant laws, procedures and prosecutorial tools needed in the investigation and prosecution of Electoral related offences that might crop up in the December polls.
COP Mr Boakye charged the personnel to be diligent in handling electoral offences and prosecutions in order not to lose the trust and confidence reposed in them.
He reminded them that their actions or inactions could mar the elections and tasked them to stand for the truth and have full knowledge of the electoral laws.
COP Mr Boakye said due to the fear of victimization, some police officers diverted their attention or shirked their responsibilities and stressed that it was time for the police service to stand for the truth and enforce all the laws without fear or favour.
He said the laws were made for the police to enforce and called on the public to cooperate with the police to effectively enforce all the electoral laws in the country.
“Be bold, truthful and courageous in enforcing the electoral laws to ensure peace and unity before, during and after the elections”, he added.
In his welcoming address, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr Felix Fosu- Agyemang, Western Regional Commander, commended the Inspector General of Police and the Director General /Legal and Prosecutions for coming up with the training workshop which he noted would motivate and boost the competence levels of the personnel.
He explained that the programme would provide officers with the needed skills on how to gather relevant evidence, prepare appropriate charges and ensure the successful prosecution of Electoral related offences.
“A synopsis of Electoral related offences shows that the offences cannot be found in one legal document, they are scattered in various Acts and constitutional instruments, hence the programme will definitely aid you in identifying the specific offences to apply”, he stressed.
DCOP Mr Fosu-Agyemang said “Ghana police service has been providing security for elections and prosecuting electoral offences in Ghana, therefore the need for the capacity building programme and its benefits cannot be over emphasized”.
He urged the personnel to take the programme seriously by applying themselves to it and learn all the nuances around the prosecution of Electoral related offences.