Forty Chief Inspectors of the Ghana Police Service have sued the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, the Police Management Board (POMAB) and the Attorney-General (A-G), over what they describe as the unjustifiable refusal of the service to promote them.
In a writ filed at the High Court in Kumasi and made available to Graphic Online, the police officers claim they were excluded from a series of promotions prompted by a special amnesty granted to police officers who passed out from police training schools by 2008 and had obtained university degrees as of 2020.
It is the case of the 40 police officers that in spite of serving between 25 and 30 years in the police service, the Police Administration had promoted their junior colleagues to other ranks under the same special amnesty but had refused to afford them the same treatment to aid their entry into the Police Academy in furtherance of their promotions to the ranks of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).
The plaintiffs said the refusal by the Police Administration to promote them had created a situation whereby their salary increment had been negatively affected, while their junior colleagues were now at par with them in terms of ranks, which further dampened morale in the service.
However, in their defence filed by a State Attorney, Kweku Boakye-Boateng and made available to Graphic Online the defendants argued that the suit had no merit and, therefore, urged the court to dismiss it.
The defendants are of the contention that the IGP had power to only promote junior officers up to the rank of Chief Inspectors, upon the recommendation of the Appointments and Promotions Advisory Board (APAB) while promotions above the rank of Chief Inspector were under the purview of the Police Council upon the recommendation of APAB.
The special amnesty, the IGP insisted, had nothing to do with entry into the senior cadre of the police service, but was purely an administrative decision in line with the powers vested in the IGP.
“The referenced special amnesty promotion was purely an administrative policy decision to meet the exigencies of the time and absorb graduate junior officers who have been granted study leave or not per the published criteria,” the statement of defence posited.
The plaintiffs, in their statement of claim, detailing their case, stated that on February 8, 2021, the IGP directed all police officers who passed out from police training schools before or on December 31, 2008, and had obtained degrees as of December 31, 2020, to submit their degree certificates by February 26, 2021, for a special exercise.
According to the police officers, they submitted certified copies of their degrees in compliance with the directive by the IGP.
Per the statement of claim, on July 21, 2021, the Police Administration implemented a series of promotions for their junior colleagues who submitted their degree certificates, under the special amnesty by granting such officers three incremental credits, moving them to the next rank.
General Corporals, the plaintiffs said, were promoted to Sergeants, Sergeants promoted to Inspectors and Inspectors promoted to Chief Inspectors.
“Under the special amnesty promotions, Chief Inspectors who had duly submitted their university certificates and were in their incremental point have been granted a special amnesty and placed on maximum point of their rank with effect from July 1, 2021.
“Sadly, Chief Inspectors who duly complied with the directives by submitting copies of their academic certificates who were promoted to their maximum point were only congratulated on their achievements by the IGP and the service,” the plaintiffs added.
The plaintiffs accused the defendants of deliberately refusing to allow them into the Police Academy for promotion as ASPs in violation of their rights, while promoting their junior officers who had served fewer years in the service as compared to them.
The 40 police officers are using the suit to seek an order from the court directed at the defendants, especially the IGP and POMAB, to promote them in line with the special amnesty granted to other police officers.
Again, the plaintiffs are seeking an order for the defendants to grant them “direct entry to the police academy unreservedly”.
They further want an order for the IGP and POMAB to “restore the lost income due to the plaintiffs as a result of the first and second defendants’ action of not promoting the plaintiffs under the special amnesty.”
As part of the defence, the IGP said before a police officer could become a senior officer, the officer would have to pass a competitive examination to gain admission to the Police Academy or be given direct entry into the academy by a special recommendation by the Police Council in line with police regulations.
“The special recommendation by way of direct entry into the Police Academy in line with the Police Service Regulations and on the authority of the Police Council is distinct from the powers and authority of the office of the first defendant (IGP) to promote to Chief Inspector in the maximum,” the statement of defence stated.
Again, the defence statement said promotion of a senior officer in the police service was not solely based on higher academic qualification.
“Promotion in the Ghana Police Service is based on competence, hard work, commitment and dedication to the service, exhibition of high level of professionalism and conduct that promote the integrity of the service, among others,” the statement of defence added.