Stop secret recruitment into security agencies — Minority demands

The Minority in Parliament has demanded the immediate cancellation of what they described as the secret recruitment exercise currently being undertaken by the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Prisons Service and the Ghana Immigration Service.

They also called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to institute measures to root out cronyism and nepotism associated with recruitment into the three security agencies particularly the enlistment of persons who were connected to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

They stated that the recruitment of such persons was not advertised and was not based on merit, a practice that was in total disregard of established procedures for recruitment.

They warned that such illegal recruitment of 2,000 personnel into the Ghana Police Service posed serious threat to national security at a time when the various political parties had thrown their weight behind efforts to disband vigilantism.

Grave consequences

At a press conference in Parliament to react to the alleged secret recruitment, the Ranking Member of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, Mr James Agalga, said “In all, the Immigration Service is hoping to secretly recruit 700 junior officers and 150 senior officers.

“The prisons service also sometime last week invited persons in suspicious circumstances for medical screening for purposes of recruitment. This is an exercise that has grave consequences of undermining our national security because when you recruit persons on the basis of nepotism and cronyism, what you do is that you sacrifice competence and one’s loyalty to the state is compromised,” he stated.

Mr Agalga, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa North, was joined by other  National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs.

Truncating processes

Mr Agalga stated that sometime in 2018, the government announced that financial clearance had been given for the recruitment of 4,000 personnel into the Ghana Police Service.

Accordingly, he said the service advertised for the recruitment of 2,000 in the first instance and prospective recruits applied through the E-recruitment model.

“The applicants, we are reliably informed, went through all the necessary procedures including meeting the academic requirement of having a minimum of six credits including English and Mathematics, took part in a competitive examination and went through thorough medical examination.”

“After this, the police administration compiled a list of qualified applicants in readiness for publication and the issuance of invitation letters for the commencement of training,” he said.

He explained that the otherwise smooth recruitment exercise by the police administration took a nosedive when the government suddenly ordered the former Inspector-General of Police, Mr David Asante-Appeatu to suspend the recruitment exercise until further notice.

Undermining process

He said subsequently, a new list which was different from the original one prepared by the police administration, was compiled and submitted by the government to the police administration for the issuance of invitation letters for training.

“The crux of the matter is that the recruitment exercise undertaken by the police administration in 2018 following the granting of financial clearance by the Ministry of Finance was truncated at the tail end and taken over directly by the NPP government, contrary to its own commitment to stamp out fraud and cronyism from the recruitment of personnel into the security agencies,” he added.

Baseless allegations

Reacting to the allegation by the Minority Vice Chairman of the Defence and Interior Committee, Mr Collins Owusu Amankwa, who is the NPP’s MP for Manhyia North, described the allegation as baseless.

“As a party, we have no hands in whatever the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Immigration Service and the Ghana Prisons Service are doing.