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24 January 2017

Govt to streamline recruitment into security agencies

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Mr Ambrose Dery (right), the Minister for the Interior designate, taking his oath at a vetting in Accra

The government is to streamline the recruitment procedure into the security agencies to ensure thorough investigations into the backgrounds of applicants.

That, according to the Minister designate for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, is to ensure that people with criminal tendencies are prevented from joining the security services.

Answering questions before the Appointments Committee of Parliament last Saturday, Mr Dery said the failure to thoroughly investigate the backgrounds of recruits endangered the lives of citizens.

That, he said, was because people with criminal records and intents would perpetrate their criminal tendencies in uniform, which could have catastrophic consequences.

“We need to restructure the recruitment exercise. We are serious about that and we intend to streamline that. We need more thorough investigations,” he said. Mr Dery was the Upper West Regional Minister from 2005 to 2007; Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, from 2007 to 2008 and Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament from 2009 to 2012.

BNI not above law

Mr Dery agreed with the suggestion that the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) sometimes isolated suspects for a long time without their lawyers. He said Article 17 of the Constitution talked about the equality of all before the law and indicated that the BNI should not be above the law.

Prisons

Mr Dery said he intended to decongest the country’s prisons and indicated that his office would push for a legislation to support the decongestion exercise. He added that he supported the suggestion for custodian sentences for minor crimes as a way to decongest the prisons.

Mr Dery said the government would move away from executive interference in the work of security agencies. “The rule of law is what we believe in, but not the rule of persons. We don’t believe that violence begets violence,” he said.

Vigilante groups

Mr Dery condemned the acts of vandalizing state assets and indicated that it would not be countenanced. He stated that it was difficult to say that the people who engaged in the acts of vandalism were members of a political party and added that the actions of supposed political parties vigilante groups should be dealt with on individual basis, but not as a group.

He said crime was crime and once arrested, the people would be dealt with according to the law.

He, therefore, asked all political parties to show commitment in exposing criminal elements.

 

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