The police officer arrested, prosecuted and acquitted over cocaine-exhibit-turned-baking-soda case says she was kept in a windowless BNI cell for 45 days.
Mrs. Gifty Mawuenyaga Tehoda said she walked into the offices of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to answer questions in relation to cocaine exhibit turning into baking and unbeknownst to her, she was going to begin the journey of a long detention and an equally long drawn out legal battle.
The Human Rights Division of the High Court Friday March 31, 2017 ordered the Ghana Police Service to reinstate her. It further ordered that she should be given her full salary for the five years that she was on interdiction, all promotions due her, as well as damages of 23,000 cedis.
DSP Tehoda said was wrongfully dismissed from the Police Service in 2012.
She said although her link to the case was confusing, there was no day she feared she would be found guilty.
Speaking days after she secured another emphatic victory at the High Court, DSP Tehoda said she is elated that a finality has been brought to the issue.
“I had no fear because I am totally innocent, and the allegation was news to me so I knew that at the end of the day I will come out of it,” she said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.
The case involving DSP Tehoda began on September 27, 2011, when one Nana Ama Martins was arrested for possessing large parcels substances suspected to be cocaine.
The substance bizarrely turned into bicarbonate or baking soda.
DSP Tehoda was linked to the disappearance of the cocaine, arrested and kept at the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) for 45 days until she was granted bail.
She was subsequently dismissed from the Police Service in 2012 although she was acquitted and discharged by the Circuit Court.
She pursued her dismissal and on Friday, March 31, 2017, the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Gifty Adjei Addo, in her ruling said DSP Tehoda’s detention and dismissal from the Service were wrong.
She is entitled to all promotions due her throughout the period of her dismissal from the service and is to be reinstated in the service.
DSP Tehoda said she is overjoyed at the turn of events.
She said when she was first linked to the vanishing of the exhibit, she could not believe the whole story and “I kept asking myself so many questions…’where from this allegation’ because I did not know what they were talking about.
“I did not work in that department called the narcotics unit and I don’t have the key to the safe in my custody so I don’t know how come I was linked to the whole thing. I was just confused, “ she added.
DSP Tehoda said her family struggled to cope with the situation. Her children were mocked at school and her six-year-old girl cried all the time.
For her, it was the grace of God that saw her family through the trying time because she was certain that someone was pushing for her downfall.
She said she is ready to put everything that has happened behind her and rejoin the police service.
She has, however, called for further investigations into the incident. She believes that the culprit is still out there and must be brought to justice.
DSP Tehoda’s husband who accompanied her to the studio said there was not a day he doubted that his wife was innocent.
Bel Tehoda said although it was a trying time for him, he held the fort knowing that “my wife was never involved in any way of what she was accused of.”