Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, a Human Rights Lawyer and Founding Editor of GhanaCelebrities.Com has stated in a sharp cutting piece that every Ghanaian should be worried about the way the Police and the Lower Court in Ghana have treated Shatta Wale and Medikal–as it seems the bail process is being used as a tool of punishment in Ghana when it shouldn’t be the case.
In a Facebook post, the lawyer and writer wrote:
“It seems that Remand/the Refusal of Bail expressly said in law not to be used as punishment is wantonly being used in such a manner in Ghana.
Of course, we have to punish those who have committed crimes but an accused is not the same as a guilty person.
There is always a presumption in favour of granting bail and the courts all around the world including Ghana subscribe to this.
To have refused bail and held Shatta Wale and Medikal in remand for “minor” legal infractions, misdemeanor, and then grant them bail some days later appears to lack any root of justice, but to purely punish the accused persons for what they have not been convicted for.
The Supreme Court of Ghana has said the bail process should not be used in a manner it seems to be used.
The IGP, if to be seen as a man of true justice or law and order, then he should not be part of this sort of seemingly “unlawful” legal gymnastics engaged by the Police and the lower courts in Ghana.
No one should be happy about this because it could be you being treated this way for alleged minor wrongdoing.
You submit a bail application, then you are refused and remanded for a week or so–and then you re-submit the same application to a Higher Court, days later with the same or similar arguments and then you are granted bail–this seems to be the general pattern.
The Police always argue in Ghana that the matter is under investigation and more time is needed so the suspect should be held in remand–why do you go and arrest anyone when you have not concluded your investigation or near conclusion–but intend to hold him for weeks while investigation?
There are countless ways a suspect can be controlled outside the jail walls. As long as a suspect is not a flight risk, the rest can be conveniently managed–curfew, movement restrictions, and others can be used.
What if after holding this person for weeks, your investigations yield nothing good to warrant prosecution or conviction? You would have just violated the person’s freedom/rights for nothing–when you could have avoided it.
Our democracy is pretty young and the call for law and order is not a call for lawless and orderless by those charged with implementing law and order.
Legally, the remand was needless as it seems to be part of a flowing stream of bail punishments.
You should be worried if you are a citizen.
–Chris-Vincent Agyapong, the Lawyer, the Writer, the Minimalist and the Professional Truth Sayer.”