What An Ordeal!

The ordeal suffered by three girls at the hands of private security personnel at Mr. Price � a shopping mall in Accra � a few days ago was as harrowing as it was humiliating. Both Mr. Price as a corporate entity and Ghana as a country, share in the dented image the action has visited upon them. Condemnable as it is, it presents us as a people with an opportunity to consider the spate of mob action with a view to countering them or even reducing them to the barest minimum. Last Saturday, Asylum Down, Accra, was the scene of a lynching of a young man, one of many to be recorded in the country, after someone shot into a crowd of people at a social spot in the neighbourhood. Many innocent persons have died through such reckless handling of suspects. Innocent persons can simply lose their lives when others decide to frame them up. By the time such persons are able to defend themselves by word of mouth, they would have long been dead. This is ample reason why such jungle justice is not, and should not be permitted in any civilized society where the rule of law is operative. The video footage, which made the rounds in social circles soon after the humiliating ordeal was meted out on the three ladies, provoked a flurry of activities among human rights organizations expectedly. Employers of private security personnel should, as a matter of urgency, organize, through collaboration with human rights organizations, lessons on right protection and actions which breach these. The defaulters, it is likely, did not know that they were breaching the law by their action. While such ignorance is no excuse in law, it is our position that private security companies would be helping the cause of human rights when they arm their employees with such knowledge. Mr. Price and the surrounding shops are frequented by not only local customers, but the expatriate community. The latter certainly found the spectacle as repulsive as some of the locals, and this is one of our worries. The trauma suffered by the suspects when they were not even arraigned, was enough to kill them. In our social setting where such humiliation can be used by others to ridicule them, the young women could bear the scars of their ordeal for life and deprive them of attracting prospective suitors. We are pleased at the swift intervention of the Ghana Police Service and indeed others with interest in the protection of human rights and how these have brought the subject to the public domain. Just why the suspects behind the ordeal suffered by the ladies did not turn them over to the police for investigations and the application of the necessary action, is something we find absurd. After the ordeal, the predators simply asked their prey to go, hoping that it was the end of a job well executed and perhaps expecting to receive kudos from their employers and the rest of their compatriots. Not so, it was most reprehensible, bereft of civility.