Senior police office challenges law making rape, robbery etc non-bailable


A senior police officer has filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the criminal procedure that makes some offences non-bailable.

Currently offences including rape, piracy, robbery and treason are considered non-bailable crimes.

But Superintendent Ayamga Yakubu Akolgo, a lawyer and a chartered accountant, says this is a breach of the constitution.

He told Joy News his motivation for challenge that aspect of the law “is simply to enforce the supreme law of this country.”

“We find it unacceptable that you can categorise certain offences and make them non-bailable. All offences by the Constitution of Ghana Article 14 are supposed to be bailed upon conditions or without conditions; that is the judicial discretion that cannot be circumvented, that cannot be prohibited by any lesser legislation…” he explained.

NATURE OF RELIEFS
Mr. Akolgo who is currently at the Ghana Police Training School is seeking: “A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 14 (3) & (4) of the 1992 Constitution, the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Decree, 1975 (N.R.C.D. 309) which prior to the coming into effect of the 1992 Constituent amended the Criminal and other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) as amended by the insertion of section 96(7) which amendment purports to prohibit a court from the grant of bail in the trial of certain criminal offences is inconsistent with the said Article and to the extent of the inconsistency is unconstitutional, void and of no effect.

“2. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 14(3) &  (4) of the 1992 Constitution, the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendments) Act, 2002 (Act 633) and Act 2006 (Act 714) which amended the Criminal and other offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) as amended in section

96(7) which amendments purports to prohibit a court from the grant of bail in the trial of certain criminal offences are inconsistent with the said Article and to the extent of the inconsistency are unconstitutional, void effect.

“3. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 289(1) & (2) & 290 of the 1992 Constitution, the Criminal and other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) as amended in section 96(7) which the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendments) Act, 2002 (Act 633) and Act 2006 (Act 714), purports to amend have in effect indirectly amended the entrenched Chapter 5 (Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms) of the 1992 Constitution in a manner inconsistent with the said Articles and to the

extent of the inconsistency are unconstitutional, void and of no effect .

“4. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 298 of the 1992 Constitution, the Criminal and other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) as amended in section 96(7) which Parliament under the 1992 Constitution purports to amend to provide for a court to refuse to grant bail

in the trial of certain offences are inconsistent with the said Article because Article 14(3) & (4) of the 1992 Constitution provided express or by necessary implication for the grant of bail in all criminal trials and to the extent of the inconsistency are unconstitutional, void and of no effect.

“5. An order to strike out section 96(7) of the Criminal and other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) as amended and whatsoever sections of any enactment which purports to prohibit a court from the grant of bail in the trial of any offence as unconstitutional, void and of no effect and to the extent of the inconsistency stands deleted from the Criminal and other offences (Procedure) Act, 1960(Act 30) as amended.”

AFFRONT TO CONSTITUTION
Private legal practitioner former President of Greater Accra Ghana Bar Association Frank Davies expressed his full support for Sup. Akolgo’s action.

He argued the legislation making some offences non-bailable is an “affront to the Constitution” of Ghana.

He said granting bail “should not be left to the discretion of judges, that as and when they think they should admit persons to bail they do. We have a constitution which is the supreme law of the land so that should not be left with the discretion of the judges when the Constitution says something it should be obeyed.”

He further argued, “the accused person is under no obligation to prove his innocence, so while you hold a person for a charge or an offence, and you hold the person, you don’t bail the person until the proceedings of the trial is over and at the end of the day the person is found not guilty, what would you have suffered the person to?”


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