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Justice Clemence Honyenuga
Justice Clemence Honyenuga

Judge cautions police against flouting orders of JFA Programme

Justice Clemence Homeyenugah, Justice of the Court of Appeal and the Chairman of the Remand Review Taskforce has cautioned police personnel to cooperate with sureties to make bail process easy for prisoners on remand.

He said it was wrong for them to deny them their right as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Justice Homeyenugah who gave the warning at the Justice For All (JFA) Programme held at the Akuse Local Prisons said it was a serious offence when the Court gave orders and they refuse to carry them out.

He gave the caution when remand prisoners who appeared before the Court constituted at the Akuse Local Prisons to hear their applications expressed fear of their request not being granted.

One such case involving Adamah Barry, the longest serving prisoner, charged with rape, had had his case adjourned only two times in seven years.

Mr Michael Tettey, his counsel in praying for bail said his client would have finished serving his minimum term of five years if sentenced, thus, the Court discharged him.

Another, Daniel Delali Mensah, who had been on remand for 20 months for defrauding by false pretence and had been granted bail by the court in 2017 but had not met the bail conditions and the investigator in the case had also not been cooperative.

The Court sitting at the Prisons again granted him bail in the sum of GH¢40,000.00 with a surety. He is to report to the police every Monday whilst he attended court.

Justice Homeyenugah then ordered the officer to ensure that the order was carried out within 14 days.

He stated that they would be sorry if they refused to grant the bail or refuse to follow the Court orders.

The Court of Appeal Judge said, if they did the exercise every year and their orders were not carried out, they would have done no work at the end of the day.

He expressed joy that the exercise had been successful with one Evans Obese, an accused person kneeling and begging his mother in the Court to forgive him for threat of death.

The inmates were charged with offenses including causing unlawful damage, unlawful entry, threat of death, rape, defrauding by false pretence, dishonestly receiving, stealing and murder.

Some had served between one month and seven years, this was because of varied reasons such as not been able to meet bail conditions and investigators not sending them to court. They were granted bail from GH¢1000.00 to GH¢50,000.00.

Twenty-three applications were brought before the court, where two of the prisoners were discharged, 16 were granted bail, three were refused bail and two of them were struck-out because the applications were redrawn.

The Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) Mr Godwin Hoenyedzi, the Commander of the Akuse Local Prisons called for a holistic approach to running the prisons.

DDP Hoenyedzi said the prisons were to reform inmates and not to harden them, adding that they should be made conducive especially for accused persons some of whom would be declared innocent by the Court, in order not to unduly punish them.

He said lack of parental care and lack of moral training were some of the reason for the incarceration of some inmates adding that they vent their anger and frustration on society because they also have no feelings for their fellow citizens.

Mr Hoenyedzi called on Ghanaians to accept ex-convicts in order not to breed recidivists.

Ms Akpene Motey, Senior State Attorney who prosecuted on behalf of the State appealed to Ghanaians to support accused persons with bail, more importantly when it came to minor offences because it could happen to anyone.

JFA was introduced by government in 2007 to help decongest prisons within the Country and it is being carried out by the Judicial Service and the POS Foundation.


Source: GNA


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