General News Tue, 29 Mar 2016

Detention of SA nationals abuse of due process – Lawyer

Legal practitioner Samson Lardy Anyenini has described the Bureau of National Investigations’ (BNI) disregard of the orders of an Accra Circuit Court to grant bail to three South Africans who were arrested recently, as absurd and a blatant abuse of due process.

The three South Africans are ex-police officers who were arrested for training New Patriotic Party (NPP) members as security men to protect flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo and his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

The court has granted the trio – Chris Hazis, 54, also known as Major Ahmed Shaik (rtd); WO/Denver Dwayhe Naidu (rtd), 39; and Captain Mlungiseleli Jokani (rtd), 45 – bail on charges of unlawful training and false declaration, after they were picked up at the El Capitano Hotel at Agona Duakwa in the Central region. But the BNI is still holding them in their cells regardless of the court order.

Speaking to Class News, Mr Anyenini condemned the posture of the BNI.

“It is not a laughing matter that a court grants bail and it is not for want of fulfilling the bail conditions, and we are told the people are rather spending the bail still in custody. That is most absurd, it’s a mark of absolute impunity on the part of the BNI and it doesn’t need a lawyer to interpret what it is for you,” he stated.

“If the facts as we are being made to know now or are what they are, then what the BNI has done is the most insult to our constitutional democracy. It is such a blatant abuse of due process and as such an assault on the court and the integrity of the judiciary, the final bastion of our democracy.”

He noted that the charges against the three South Africans are misdemeanours that do not require a jail term but a caution, and hence the BNI should not have gone to court in the first place.

He explained: “I think that if the facts remain as they are that the court did grant them bail, because obviously the charges that were preferred against them were misdemeanours, petty crimes, ultimately if they are found guilty in the trial they might get a mere caution or a caution plus a bond of good behaviour for at least six months.

“If they may be asked to pay any fine, they may be asked to pay fines less than a GHS1000. So, if it’s a misdemeanour charge, and obviously that means it is not a non-bailable offence, they (BNI) didn’t need to go to the court in the first place. They could have by themselves granted them police inquiry bail; the police do that on a daily basis.”

Source: classfmonline.com