The Minister for Transportation, Alhaji Collins Dauda, on Tuesday shocked residents in Kumasi, including the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Patrick Timbillah, when he revealed how police personnel extorted GH₵50 from him, before he was allowed to move his vehicle.
The Asunafo South Member of Parliament (MP), who was on his way to Bekwai at the time of the incident, said he was forced to dish out the amount in order to gain safe passage, and to avoid being held up by the security officers.
Collins Dauda, who made the revelation when addressing a meeting with transport stakeholders, said if he had not paid the money, the police would have unnecessarily delayed him, even though he was in a hurry to get to his destination.
The former Lands and Forestry Minister said he embarked on the journey with his brother, in his personal Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, when the police officers asked them to stop at a point, and ordered his driver to get out of the vehicle. He narrated: “when we reached the police point, they stopped my vehicle and instructed the driver to get down, but I realised the driver was keeping long, so I called him and asked what was happening?”
The Minister added: “When the driver came, he told me that the police officers were asking him too many questions, and that he suspected that they wanted him to ‘dash’ them money before they would allow him to go.”
Collins Dauda explained that because he wanted to ascertain things for himself, he asked his brother to give him GH¢50, which he subsequently gave to his driver to give to the police officer. The Transport Minister continued his narration: “After my driver gave the money to the police officer, they asked him to move the vehicle, but I instructed him not to move, and i got down to ask the police officer why he collected the money?”
Dauda said to his amazement, the police officer told him that he acted under instruction from his Chief Inspector. The Minister, however, pointed out that the Chief Inspector flatly denied ever instructing his subordinate to collect the money. What worried the Minister, however, was the fact that the police, after taking the bribe from him, allowed a defective vehicle to pass without checking it.
The Minister averred that lots of road accidents were happening in this country, because some police officers had refused to carry out their professional duties, stressing, “If police officers were to discharge their duties devoid of bribe-taking, and insist that the right thing must be done, a lot of road accidents would be prevented.”
He wondered how a police officer could compromise his integrity for a pittance, thereby, putting the lives of many Ghanaians in danger.
Alhaji Dauda also pointed out that another major factor that contributes to road accidents in the country was the situation where stationary vehicles were left unattended to on the major highways.
He, therefore, charged the National Road Safety Commission to come up with practical measures to get faulty vehicles off the road, as a means of reducing the increasing carnage on our roads.
Source: The Chronicle