IMANI Africa VP Criticizes Parliamentary Committee for Exceeding Mandate in IGP Investigation

Kofi Bentil, Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, has voiced concerns that the Parliamentary Committee investigating an alleged plot to remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP) overstepped its boundaries. Bentil described the issue as “essentially gossip and slander” and emphasized that the Police Service has its own mechanisms for handling such matters, which were disregarded.

Bentil specifically criticized Committee Chair Samuel Atta Akyea, accusing him of conducting the proceedings “as if he was a law unto himself.” According to Bentil, despite the Speaker of Parliament’s clear and specific instructions to the Committee members, the Akim Abuakwa South MP acted independently and beyond the given mandate.

“The specific simple matter does not take rocket science to determine,” Bentil remarked. “The Speaker said we should at least do our official job about this because of the important people involved; so do AB and C. Atta Akyea actually just proceeded to hold a court, a full court trial, and then proceeded to invite every and all persons to make all manner of allegations.”

Bentil argued that there was no need for the Committee to invite numerous witnesses to present both founded and unfounded allegations. He drew an analogy to highlight his point, saying, “When a committee is set up by the Speaker with a clear mandate to make groundnut soup, you cannot expand the remit to include making any other soup.”

The Committee has faced significant internal discord following the submission of its report to Parliament, a report notably unsigned by its Chairman. Despite this, the other seven members of the Committee did sign the report. Samuel Atta Akyea disagreed with the findings and conclusions of his fellow members and had advocated for the Committee to call more witnesses after allegations were made against the IGP, including claims of supervising extra-judicial killings—claims that the IGP has denied.

It is also reported that Atta Akyea plans to present his own report to the House, outlining his objections to the initial report. He has denied authorizing the report that was laid before the House and intends to detail his reservations in his version.

The situation highlights the complexities and potential overreach in parliamentary investigative processes. Bentil’s comments reflect a broader concern about the appropriate scope and conduct of such investigations, particularly when they involve high-ranking officials and sensitive allegations.

As the Parliamentary Committee continues to grapple with internal disagreements, the focus remains on how the findings and recommendations will be handled by Parliament. The outcome of this process could have significant implications for the integrity of parliamentary investigations and the mechanisms of accountability within Ghana’s political and law enforcement institutions.

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