General News of Saturday, 7 March 2015
Former Attorney-General Nii Ayikoi Otoo is questioning the use of house arrest in the interdiction of the HR head of the Police Service Patrick Timbillah, saying the method is common with coups d’etat and not under constitutional government.
The New Patriotic Party lawyer says “I don’t think it is quite a common practice under constitutional regimes to hear that people have been put under house arrest….this idea of house arrest is worrying….it looks a little bit odd for me because it is not a court order”.
Director General of Police Human Resource and Administration COP Patrick Timbillah has been linked with a police recruitment scam last week after over 2000 people trooped to five regional police training schools with admission letters hoping to begin training as police recruits.
By house arrest, the house of Patrick Timbillah becomes his own jail as he will not be allowed to move out or communicate with the outside world.
It turned out however that the letters were fraudulent with fictitious signatures. The interdicted top official has denied those were his signature.
A special task force looking into the matter recommended the interdiction of the Commissioner of Police.
According to the lawyer, however, he would have expected that COP Timbillah not to be put under house arrest.
He described the normal procedure where the police would “arrest him[suspect], bring him to the police station let him write a statement you grant him bail and he goes home”.
Explaining the constitutionality of the police action, Ayikoi Otoo says he is not sure if this action is supported by the law.
“The constitution talks about custody and we know custody either prison or police custody…I am not too sure about house custody but these are things associated with coups d’etat.”