Regional News Sun, 22 May 2022

Resist any attempt to charge you for bailing a suspect – Chief Inspector

The people of Komeso, a farming community in the Asante-Akim South Municipality have been asked not to pay any fee when seeking bail for a suspect in police custody.

Chief Inspector Kwabena Asiedu, Station Officer at the Obogu Police Station who gave the advice, said it was illegal to pay any amount when securing bail for a suspect and urged the public to resist any such attempt by a police officer.

The Police Officer who was speaking at a public durbar to educate the people on Ghana’s Case Tracking System (CTS) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism, insisted that granting bail to a suspect must not attract any charges as long as the offense is bailable.

His pronouncement generated massive excitement among the large gathering who were obviously disturbed about the practice of paying money at Police stations to bail a family member or friend in Police custody.

Just after Chief Inspector Asiedu, who was one of the resource persons ended his speech, the residents took turns to ask questions mostly on extortions in various Police stations in the name of granting bail to suspects.

They expressed grave concerns about the situation and called for an immediate stop to the practice since he had indicated that it was against the law.

Chief Inspector Asiedu assured them of his commitment to check unscrupulous officers engaged in the illegal activity within his jurisdiction and urged the people to report such incidence for prompt action.

The durbar was organized by Abak Foundation, a local implementing partner of the USAID Justice Sector Support Activity which seeks to create public awareness about the CTS and ADR through citizen engagement, empowerment, and voice to demand accountability and improve services.

With funding from USAID, the project, which is being implemented by three civil society organizations, including the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Legal Resources Centre and Crime Check Foundation also aims at improving access to justice in Ghana.

The CTS was launched in 2018 by the Government with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to provide a common platform for easy tracking of cases and communication between the justice institutions.

Mr Philip Duah, Executive Director of Abak Foundation, said both the CTS and ADR sought to improve justice delivery and stressed the need for the citizenry and duty bearers to embrace them.

He said human rights abuse in the criminal justice system could be significantly reduced if the CTS was effectively utilized.

He encouraged the people to resort to ADR for the amicable resolution of petty cases rather than prolonged litigation in court and recommended the Legal Aid Commission as an alternative way of settling such cases.
Source: GNA