Let’s condemn illegal takeovers, seizures -Ambrose Dery

Mr. Ambrose Dery, Interior Minister designate

Mr. Ambrose Dery, Interior Minister designate

The Interior Minister designate, Mr. Ambrose Dery, has warned against the colourisation of crime saying people must personally be held responsible for their actions.

Answering questions on post election violence and illegal takeovers of state assets at his vetting in Accra on Saturday, Mr. Dery said such acts cast a slur on the country’s democracy and must be condemned.

Illegal takeovers and seizures of public assets by political activist had been the norm in Ghana, after governments change hand with the latest being done by perceived members of the NPP who have been on rampage taking over state assets since the party won the 2016 polls.

Mr. Dery, who is the MP for Nandom, in the Upper West Region, said such actvities must be condemned and perpetrators given out to face the law on personal basis.

“Crime has no colour and if we begin to take these acts as criminal and treat perpetrators as individuals and not members of a particular political party, it will be better for us.

“Let people be responsible for their actions and if they suffer for their actions with helpless sympathy, these things will stop”, he stated.

He said though the incidents of the takeovers were on the downward trend, more needed to be done to avoid its reoccurrence in the future.

Politicians, he said, have a role to play in calling their members to order and that his time at the ministry, if approved by Parliament, will not tolerate such illegalities.

He said the police will be empowered and given the free role to arrest and prosecute anyone who would hide behind a political party to commit any form of crime.

According to him, security remains a collective responsibility and the citizenry must support the police and other law enforcement agencies to stump out such acts from the country’s political dispensation.

On the professionalism of the police, Mr. Dery said a retraining programme for police personnel was in the offing to ensure the highest form of standards were applied in the discharge of their duties.

He expressed worry about the pre-trial detention of suspects beyond the 48 hours allowed by the constitution and said the government will protect the rights of citizens, including suspects irrespective of what crime they may be accused of by the state.

“A suspect is a suspect until otherwise declared by a competent court of jurisdiction. If the police wishes to keep a suspect to further their investigations, that can only be permissible by a court and we shall ensure that is upheld”, he assured.

On the disbandment of politically linked vigilante groups, Mr. Dery said every illegitimate group ought to be condemned and not be countenanced.

To him, “handling of each complaint must be professionally pursued in that, you are a suspect, investigations conducted, rights are respected and people who deserve to be prosecuted will be prosecuted.”

He said the government will pursue programmes and policies to better the lots of security personnel chief among them being accommodation for them.

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