Ghana Police…life on the other side of the law…it’s kinda lawless

Yesterday morning I was listening to the radio. The AGP was discussing the legalities of amongst other things, keeping a photocopy of a driving license as opposed to having your actual license. Apparently it is classified as forgery, I don’t know why, he did not give a tangible reason why. Who would have thougt almost 12 hours after I would understand why.

I went to the mall after work, there I met my good friend Pascal, he is a Nigerian but was here for a workshop. I met Pascal when I was on a market visit to Nigeria, he showed me around the factory and really made time for me that day, since then we have been the best of friends. A very patient man who has had to listen to me complaining about my job for almost 2 years but he still advises me and is always there for me, so moaning aside, I must be doing something right for him to stay friends with me.

But I digress, I dropped him at his hotel and took a route that I wouldn’t normally take home because they are constructing the roads, but with it being the quickest way (so I thought), I took it. There was a taxi driver in front of me, he was driving so flipping slowly. You are supposed to have 10 cm or whatever between you and the car in front, but his was turning into 10 miles. Then the car started jerking, it looked like it was about to breakdown, so I drove around it. Only for me to be stoped at the police in front of me.

I stopped at the side of the road, where the officer asked for my drivers license. I gave it to him. Nnow I don’t know if it was a consequence of the morning’s radio show or it was a case of this officer being particularly maticulous, but he checked the back of the license. Apparently every two years you are supposed to go to the licensing office for an eye test, if you can still see enough to drive, you get your license renewed. I didn’t know this, after I got my licence I thought that was it until 2015 as per the front of the license. So Officer Forson now actually had a case against me now. Going one step further he said, in my license picture I was wearing glasses but now I was not. I tried to explain to him that I was wearing contact lenses. He then says to his colleague something like, the girl says she has something in her eyes which means she shouldn’t wear her glasses, he then chuckled. I tried again to explain that I was wearing lenses. I told him to look at the transparent coat around my eye, he then shun his torch right into my eye, and said ah ok. I knew that he didn’t actually get what I was talking about but he was more concerned about me showing my appreciation.

He could arrest me he said but he would let me go if I showed some appreciation. I could hear my cousin telling me in my head that it is only 5GHS why don’t I just give it to him, but the truth is, since the incident, I carry very little money with me and I all I had was 5GHS and some coins. Officer Forson in those few hours he was standing at the police barrier, would probably stop at least 10 drivers for whatever traffic offence he felt that they should be stopped for. If 10 people gave him 5GHS he would be 50GHS up that night. I however would have nothing in my purse except air. So I chose to call a friend.

This friend, his name is Nana Quame. He’s a police officer, we met at the police barrier near my house about 6 months ago. I had come back from our staff party and had met my cousin afterwards for a few gins. I was slightly tipsy when I was driving home and he stopped me. I thought that’s it, I am going to get done for drink driving and I am totally guilty. He stood by my window, asked me my name, and we ended up chatting for about 45 min. Tall stocky man, the kind that can pick you up and throw you over his shoulder.

It was 1am and I had to go be at the office by 8am as we were out for a staff day out (bad hangover the next day). He had given me his number but I didn’t call him, it’s not because I didn’t like him, he is an attractive guy, but I was too preoccupied with other people like the Grimm. The other reason is that police officers are not really at the same ranking as those back in London. They are very underpaid, not that I am in him for his money but I guess I wondered if he was looking at me like I was someone with cash, or I was a ticket to UK. We basically come from two different worlds, and I was wondering if those differences would work, so I didn’t call.

I met him a couple of weeks ago at the barrier just after the break-in, he tapped at my window, I thought it was another police man stopping me for ‘a tip’ and I was still quite pre-occupied with all that was going on. I pulled over and then I hear this voice say ‘what, are you not talking to me again or something’. I roll down the window and it’s Nana. We start chatting and I tell him about everything that’s going on, I don’t know he was so sweet he said he had a big broad shoulder and that I can cry on it anytime. The next day I sent him a text to say thanks, he called me back and we have been chatting quite a bit ever since. These days I have a thing about guys voices, and he really has quite a nice voice, it is deep but calming, kind of makes me melt when he talks to me. The other day when we managed to trace the guy who has my phone, I told him about it and he said to me, why didn’t you tell me this sooner, haven’t had a chance to beat up a criminal in a long time. You have me here and you are really not using me to your advantage. He was being serious, but I laughed because that’s a form of romance I have not experienced before.

So back to the scene with officer Forson, I could have given him my last 5ghs, but I wanted to buy a lucozade and ATM’s are not as readily available as they are in London, what if I couldn’t get to one, it looked like it was going to piss down with rain (and it did), and that time of night, even if you get an ATM the likelihood that there was cash in them is very unlikely. I said I don’t have any money, but I will call my boyfriend. Him thinking that if this was the case he was going to get much more than 5ghs said go ahead. So I called Nana, at first he wasn’t answering his phone. I thought just my luck, the very few times I actually need a guy, he doesn’t pick up. So I sent a text message that I had been arrested, he picked up. I asked him if he was with his wife or something, he said ‘I told you I am not married’, not really a sense of security for me these days but there was a bigger issue at hand. So I narrate the story, and he asks to speak to the officer. Officer Forson then hands me the phone and Nana says ‘It’s going to be alright baby’, I say thank you and goodbye. After putting the phone down, officer Forson comes up to my window and says now in Twi rather than the English he was speaking before ‘when you marry a police man you will never get tired in this country’, while waving me to go. I couldn’t help but let out a little chuckl at that point, Officer Forson then went on to tell me that they were colleagues and some other stuff before I said thank you and drove home.

I got home at around 8.30 even though I had left the mall at 7pm. It started thundering before it chucked down just as I got to the gate. But for the first time last night, I slept very well, I still have to sleep with the kitchen light on when I sleep but I slept all through the night. I don’t have much luck with men, but felt like I had a knight in shining armour come save me, even if it was just for one night.

As for the future of me and Nana Quame, well I believe that God has a chosen path for me, the mistake I have made is that too many times I have forced myself onto somebody else’s path and well it gives rise for my mum to say “I told you so” and I hate it when she is right….lol, so I ask God for the wisdom to make the good choices and keep guiding me down the correct path.

As for Officer Forson, although I got away with it, it gets me thinking. The people who made off with the things in my house, they could have been stopped by an Officer just like him but got away with merely a 5 or 10GHs ‘note of grattitude’.

It doesn’t give me much faith in the Ghanaian legal system.

About efiasworld

A British Born Ghanaian navigating her way through life.
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