Arbitrary arrests: 1m Ghanaians victims – CENCORD

Class News has intercepted a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor that indicts the Ghana Police Service of failing to provide reports on unwarranted arrests.

The letter, signed by Executive Director of think tank Centre for Constitutional Order (CENCORD), Mr Harrison Kofi Belly, said nearly one million people have been victims of arbitrary arrest by the police without just cause or warrant over the last 56 years and without any record to show the circumstances and the basis for the arrest.

In a separate press release, CENCORD accused the magistrates’ court of conniving with the police to violate the law.

CENCORD said it carried out an independent evaluation of the application of sections of the Criminal Procedure and Other Offence Act, 1960 (Act 30) as amended by Juvenile Justice Act, 2003, (Act 653).

Under Section 16 of Act 30 as amended, “Officers in charge of [a] police station shall report monthly to the nearest District Magistrate, cases of all persons arrested without warrant within the limits of their respective stations and not subsequently charged with an offence, whether those persons have been admitted to bail or not”.

The statement said “the Code regulates the criminal law and procedure to be followed in summary and indictable proceedings. Since 1960, the Ghana Police Service has not lived the section 16 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1960 (Act 30) as amended by Juvenile Justice Act, 2003 (Act 653). The amazing thing is that the Courts have condoned these legal infractions over the last 56 years without any sign of reprimand.”

CENCORD has, therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to comply with the law by furnishing the Magistrates’ Courts with the monthly reports of those that they have genuinely arrested without warrant and were not charged, starting with the report for August 2016.

CENCORD is an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit organisation that is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Ghana together with all international legal regimes to which Ghana is an actor.

Source: Ghana/

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