A crime officer handling a criminal case last Wednesday became an accused person when it came to the notice of a judge that the officer had tampered with advice from the Attorney General and imposed his own charge on an accused person in the case.
The District Crime Officer of the Odorkor District Police Station, DSP Emmanuel Osei Agbogah, who committed that act, received a serious reprimand from the Presiding Judge at the Accra Circuit Court, Mr Francis Obiri, for tampering with the advice on the charge to give the accused person.
It was only after several pleas and apologies on his behalf by the prosecution team that he was left off the hook for wrongly charging the accused person.
A businessman, Nii Ankrah Antiaye, and two others at large were to be charged with ‘Conspiracy to commit crime, to wit: Robbery contrary to section 23 (1) and 149 of Act 29/50.’
However, instead of that charge for the accused, DSP Agbogah, charged the accused with robbery and the conspiracy to commit robbery.
The businessman was therefore refused bail when his lawyer, Mr Edward K. Oppong, applied for bail for him.
It was when Mr Oppong insisted that his client’s offence attracted bail, based on the advice from the Attorney General, that Mr Obiri requested a copy of the AG’s advice dated April 11, 2014 and signed on her behalf by a State Attorney, Nana Adoma Osei.
After strongly taking on the crime officer for imposing his own charge on the accused other than what the Attorney General had prescribed, Mr Obiri pointed out that no one had the right to alter any advice from the Attorney General for any reason.
‘I am disappointed with the crime officer. What he has done is an insult to the integrity of Ghana and the Police Administration. If it had been done in any religion, it would have been referred to as the height of apostasy,’ the Presiding Judge said.
Going back on an earlier threat to take the matter up, Mr Obiri advised that the crime officer should be admonished, while the prosecution amended their records.
Satisfied with the advice from the AG’s department, the Judge granted the accused bail in the sum of GH¢5,000 with two sureties. The hearing was adjourned to September 1, 2014.
The accused’s lawyer, Mr Oppong, said because of the wrong charge, his client had been kept in police custody for about a week and had even been sent to the Nsawam Medium Security Prison.
He expressed concern that some accused persons might have been wrongly charged and imprisoned in like manner.
Credit: Edmund Smith-Asante |Graphic
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