Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, IGP

The Ghana Police Service has cautioned the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, to be guided in her diplomatic engagement and learn to keep within the limits of what concerns the British Commission in the country.

The Police quizzed whether the British diplomat believes she is within the bounds of the Vienna Convention that regulates the conduct of diplomats in the countries in which they serve when she took to twitter to make insinuations about the arrest of a Ghanaian citizen by the Ghana Police.

“Should you get involved in the domestic/internal affairs, especially security issues of the sovereign state in which you are serving as a diplomat?

“Do you know of any instances where a Ghanaian diplomat in Britain have involved themselves in your internal affairs and is there any particular reason why of all the people arrested daily for various offences in Ghana, you are especially interested in this person’s case?”

These were contained in a response by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare to a tweet by the British High Commission on the arrest of #FixTheCountry movement convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor two weeks ago.

The British Diplomat had tweeted, “Oliver Barker-Vormawor, convener of #FixTheCountry movement, arrested again, I understand for a motoring offence on his way to court. I’ll be interested to see where this goes…”

Harriet Thompson, British High Commissioner to Ghana

The Police pointed out the use of the phrase ‘arrested again, is a reference to the previous arrest of Mr. Barker-Vormawor for threatening the security of the state.

The High Commissioner, the police said, may be oblivious of the fact that led to the arrest of Mr. Barker Vormawor in February and that he threatened the security of the State by categorically stating his intention to stage a coup d’état and cause instability in the country if the Army, which he referred to as ‘useless’, was unable to do so.

“These same threats have subsequently been repeated by Mr. Barker-Vormawor on his social media handles. In line with the laws of the Republic of Ghana, he was arrested and taken through due process and was granted bail by a court of competent jurisdiction. That matter is still pending before the law courts.

“On Tuesday 17th May, 2022, Mr. Barker-Vormawor was among other drivers who were arrested separately for road traffic offences. They were all arraigned before the courts, where some pleaded guilty, were convicted and paid their fines accordingly.

However, this person pleaded not guilty, was granted bail by the Court and was released after fulfilling the bail conditions,” part of the letter said.

The police noted Mr. Barker-Vormawor is not the only person who is being taken through due process for committing an offence in the country and questioned why he is the only focus of the British High Commission.

Britain as a country, according to the Police, reveres its army and continuously celebrates both serving and retired officers in the British Armed Forces and stressed that Ghana similarly treasures its Police Service, the Armed Forces and all other security agencies and anxious to build these institutions into strong and revered pillars of society that perform their duties excellently.

“As our former colonial power and the source of our legal, judicial and criminal justice architecture and indeed, of our Police Service, we continue to look up to Britain among other countries for guidance with regard to how difficult situations are handled.”

“We note that some leaders of faith-based organisations in your country made pronouncements that were considered as national security threats, they were branded as terrorists, arrested, prosecuted and in some cases were extradited. This, we believe, your country did in its quest to safeguard the security of the state and ensure the sustenance of the peace the inhabitants enjoy.”

The police noted that just as in Britain, people are not permitted to openly threaten the security of the state with a coup and stressed the criminal justice system of both Ghana and Britain do not celebrate such persons.

In reference to the ‘second arrest’ of Mr. Barker-Vormawor, the Police charged the High Commissioner to take interest in the number of lives lost to road accidents and the number of injured persons as well as families who have become destitute as a result of such accidents caused by the infractions of recalcitrant drivers.

The Police Service assured it has introduced innovations in recent times to deepen discipline, law and order as well as protect lives and property in Ghana and questioned, “Are you interested that we are doing our best to get it right?”