General News Tue, 29 Mar 2016

We’ll protect rights of Koda, 3 South Africans - Bediatuo

A lawyer with the New Patriotic Party says he will take every step necessary to protect the rights of his client Captain Koda who was released from the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations after 48 hours of detention.

Nana Asante Bediatuo said his sick client was held for more than 96 hours by the BNI, an action he said was a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of his client.

Captain Koda was picked up Friday over allegations he invited three South Africans to illegally conduct military training for some supporters of the NPP ahead of the 2016 elections.

Even though the NPP has explained the training was only a civilian drill to equip workers of the NPP flagbearer on VIP protection and how to secure the flagbearer, the BNI has been adamant.

Officials of the BNI insist the conduct of Captain Koda and the South Africans was illegal and arrested the four.

Captain Koda was temporarily released but the three South Africans were hauled before a Circuit Court and slapped with three charges including conspiracy to commit crime and unlawful training.

The Judge admitted the three to a bail bond of 20,000 cedis with two sureties and asked the BNI to hand over the suspects to the court registrar for the necessary bail formalities to be followed.

But the BNI ignored the orders of the court and whisked the suspects into a waiting vehicle and drove them to the BNI office, Thursday morning, where they have since been.

To complete what they started the BNI again invited Captain Koda on Friday and kept him in custody over the weekend only to release him Monday morning.

The New Patriotic Party has been angered by the conduct of the BNI and has not missed the opportunity to make its opinions known to the BNI and the government.

Speaking on the matter, Nana Asante Bediatuo who is Lawyer for Captain Koda told Joy News the BNI cannot use weekends and holidays as cover ups and violate the rights of citizens with impunity.

He said the constitution does not make exceptions for weekends and holidays when it states that nobody should be held beyond 48 hours.

He insisted his client was held for more 96 hours and that cannot be justified under any stretch of the imagination.

He argued to hold a suspect in custody for that long, one who is sick and who spent most of time at the infirmary of the BNI, is inhuman and a gross violation of his right.

He dismissed claims by the Deputy Communications Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu that his client was charged, released and re-charged. He challenged Mr Ofosu to state what charges were preferred against his client.

He said he will seek a clear decision from the court on the issues on detention and will protect the rights of his client.

Status of 3 South Africans

Nana Asante Bediatuo was unequivocal in stating that the conduct of the BNI was not only in contempt of court but an affront to the judiciary.

He said never in his practice of law has he seen such a conduct.

He stated the NPP will file for contempt charges in the case involving the three South Africans.

Source: Myjoyonline.com