Regrettably, the BNI, which is an institution established to deal with high-level crimes that threaten our national security, has now proven to be arguably, the most stubborn State Institution in the country which has grown so much notoriety in acts of lawlessness, disdainful regard for due process and flagrant violation of people’s fundamental rights and freedoms with impunity. It is shamefully worthy of note that our otherwise fine security capos at the BNI have allowed themselves to be used by the State and the ruling government in particular to unlawfully harass, victimize, traduce, intimidate, gag and persecute its ardent critics and political opponents with the view to cowing all and sundry into submission.
You don’t have to be politically or legally savvy to come to this inevitable conclusion once you live in this country. Now, more than ever in our history, anytime the mention of the BNI is made in the news, then certainly, it is for all the bad reasons. They are either engaged in arbitral arrest of ordinary citizens without recourse to our legal regime and denying them (their suspects) the right to Counsel, OR they are engaged in keeping suspects in their custody beyond the constitutionally mandated 48 hours OR they are flagrantly flouting explicit orders from our competent Courts of Jurisdiction.
The BNI doesn’t respect our fundamental Rights, they don’t respect our Laws, they don’t respect our Constitution, they don’t respect our Courts, they have become a law onto themselves and only do what pleases them. They determine what is lawful in this country and not what the Constitution or our Court says. All they care, is instruction/order from “oga at the top”. Else, how on earth would the BNI allow itself to be used by one man (Baba Kamara) to settle personal issues he has with his next-door neighbor in a purely civil matter?
Interestingly, this same BNI and its surrogates especially “government persons” now want Parliament to pass a law, known as the Spy Bill that would further empower them to interfere in our privacy. Yet they care very little about the piece of legislation that would be of enormous benefit to you and I, the Right to Information Bill, which has been pending for almost two decades and gathering dusts in our Parliament. How can I trust this very “lawless BNI” to have unlimited, unchecked and unregulated access to my private conversation when they can’t even respect the fundamental constitutional rights of ordinary citizens.
If this bill is passed, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of BNI interference in the personal and even sexual lives of people or matters of conjugal relationship. No wonder Ghanaians are overwhelmingly up in arms against this unpopular bill and have vowed to resist same with all alacrity even though government still appears belligerent on their quest to pushing this mischief through for some inexplicable expediencies.
In the final analysis, it is very clear that the BNI is increasingly becoming very infamous in the country because of their involvement in various acts of lawlessness. You can interpret that to mean a surreptitious attempt by the BNI to reintroduce the culture of silence in Ghana through the backdoor. Pray for me not to get an invitation from the BNI for authoring this article. But I shouldn’t even be bothered if I get persecuted for speaking the bitter truth in defense of my country’s democracy and for posterity knowing very well that several others lost their lives in this legendary national struggle. You would agree with me that in the light of the foregoing, the BNI has to do a lot more to regain the needed public confidence in its daily enterprises.
“Silence is not an option when things are ill done” – Lord Denning
A concerned Ghanaian in the struggle
Youth Activist/Social Commentator
Former NUGS Secretary