COP George Alex Mensah
The embattled former Director-General Technical of the Ghana Police Service, COP George Alex Mensah, captured on a leaked audio tape plotting to depose the Inspector General of Police (IGP), officially retired yesterday from the service.
The top cop reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 on Sunday, while on terminal leave, after 31 years of service in the uniform, and remains a witness of the parliamentary committee probing the leaked tape.
COP Mensah and other police officers, including the IGP, have already testified before the committee over the audio tape.
In one of his appearances, he accused the IGP, Dr. George Akuffo-Dampare, of masterminding the audio recording and urged the committee to summon him to demand the original tape, claiming the first audio was doctored.
“Mr. Chairman, my intel [intelligence] suggests that what was used to tape the conversation was done by the current IGP. He sent some people to do it, and after which he went for it. So the tape, from my intel, is with the IGP and he caused it to be leaked.
“So if this committee wants the [original] tape, the right person to call before this committee is the Inspector General of Police,” he suggested when he appeared before the committee.
According to him, the present IGP, Dr. George Akuffo-Dampare, is the worst the country has ever had, and that the service is heading in the wrong path with him at the helm of affairs.
COP Mensah, who is at the centre of the alleged plot to depose the IGP, told the bipartisan committee that Dr. Akuffo-Dampare had also gagged police officers, including the service’s Public Affairs Directorate, and that many of the officers were dissatisfied with his management of the service.
He claimed that Dr. Akuffo-Dampare did not even permit the service’s Public Affairs Directorate to carry out its responsibilities as required.
“As I have said earlier, the current IGP is not managing the Service well because now he has shut the mouth of every police officer including the Public Affairs Director,” he stressed.
“Honourable chair, what I said yesterday, if you give me the opportunity today, I will say it again. For me, for the 31 years I have been in the Service, he [Dr. Akuffo-Dampare] is the worst IGP ever,” he retorted to a question.
COP Mensah again alleged that the IGP is in constant touch with former President John Mahama, and added, “Mr. Chair, my intelligence shows that he does it.”
He also asserted that members of the Ghana Police Service are divided along political lines, which causes the promotion of perceived political opponents whose political parties are not in power to be delayed.
According to him, because he was considered as a political opponent, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government bypassed him and promoted all of his juniors, including the current IGP, to Deputy Commissioners and Commissioners.
COP Mensah stated that he was only promoted from Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) to Deputy Commissioner of Police and then to Commissioner of Police between 2017 and 2019, following the NDC government’s exit.
When asked if it was typical for someone to receive two promotions in two years, he said yes.
“It is very normal [for someone to get promotion within two years], especially when the person has spent nine years in one rank when his juniors have become commissioners and he was still an Assistant Commissioner,” he explained.
When asked if the service is divided along political lines, COP Mensah responded, “Mr. Chairman, I will not be a hypocrite. We have it,” adding that there were some police officers who resigned and then ran for office as MPs within two weeks, despite the fact that they were meant to be card-carrying members for five years.
“They resigned within two weeks and they contested. I am not a hypocrite; I will speak the truth,” he noted.
When the NDC MP for Asunafo South, Eric Opoku, pressed him to confirm clearly that there are NPP and NDC police officers, the Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee, Samuel Atta Akyea, stepped in.
Mr. Atta Akyea, NPP MP for Abuakwa South, stated, “With the greatest respect, let’s have this in-camera. It’s okay. He said the Ghana Police Service is currently divided along party lines. That is a very explosive thing.”
“Please, in good time, we will have an in-camera. We will glean meaning and understanding from him quietly and call whoever matters and it becomes part of our recommendations,” he pleaded with his colleagues.
By Ernest Kofi Adu