A member of the Upper East Region’s Ghana National Fire Service has been fired for misconduct.
Ibrahim Mohammed Alemiakurugo was caught on closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera robbing a grocery and afterwards stealing a customer’s phone.
The incident reportedly took place on June 1, 2022, at a store on the edge of a road that connected to the Bolgatanga-Navrongo Highway coming from the direction of the Upper East Regional Hospital.
The officer can be seen entering the store in his service uniform and pausing at a counter with powdered breakfast items in the video obtained by countryGhana
He turns around to make sure no one is seeing and reaches out for a roll of powdered milk, stuffing it in the back of his jeans.
The officer walked to the checkout counter where another client was preparing to pay for his purchases while his untucked uniform concealed the loot.
The customer put his phone on the counter and paid for his purchases.
Standing next to the other customer at the counter, the officer who was holding a plastic bag and had selected a piece of bread. The officer put the polythene bag over the phone and pocketed it as the customer walked away from the counter and appeared to be distracted.
According to reports, the owner of the phone later went back to the store to complain about his missing phone, which sparked a frenzied search.
After searching for the phone in vain for several minutes, it was suggested that the CCTV footage from the store be examined.
This resulted in the shocking finding that a fire officer in a uniform had also stolen a cell phone while shoplifting.
The officer who admitted to the offense was identified thanks to a report to Upper East Regional Fire Commander ACFO Anthony Gyasi Boateng.
He returned the phone and the leftover of the milk powder which was sent back to the shop by a team of officers. The fire officers made a payment of Gh¢20:40p for the parts of the stolen products which had been consumed by the officer.
Following a service inquiry into the incident, the officer who was interdicted pending the final outcome of the inquiry was dismissed from the Ghana National Service on July 17, 2022.
The GNFS’ Public Relations Officer in the Upper East Region, DOIII Callistus Nibunu, confirmed the dismissal and expressed disappointment over the conduct of the officer.
“Conclusive evidence was made that he committed the act, so his dismissal letter came. The act was committed in uniform. That sends a very bad signal as far as the image of the service is concerned.
“No organisation will want to be tagged with such an act. It’s indeed a dent on the image of the service, and the service has also used the Legislative Instrument 1725, which we are all bounded by, to apply the appropriate punishment as expected,” he said.
According to the Upper East Regional Commander, ACFO Anthony Gyasi Boateng, Ibrahim Mohammed Alemiakurugo, at the time of his dismissal, was preparing to take his first promotion examination, which would have seen him move rank from Fireman (FM) to Leading Fireman (LFM).
Meanwhile, Mohammed Alemiakurugo is said to have described his dismissal from the service as highhanded.
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