General News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
An Accra High Court, yesterday, annulled a decision by Ambrose Dery, Ghana’s Interior Minister, to deport an Indian national, Ashok Kumar Sivaram, out of the country.
According to the court, Mr. Ambrose Derry overstepped his bounds when he accused the Indian of committing an act of fraud without referring the case to the court for a fair hearing.
By his actions, the court, presided over by Justice Kwaku Ackah Boafo, said Mr. Dery violated the rule of natural justice by refusing the plaintiff a hearing, after he had accused him of allegedly committing fraud.
It is the conviction of The Chronicle that Mr. Ambrose Dery, a veteran politician, with his actions, embarrassed Ghana in particular, and Ghanaians as a whole, in the eyes of the international community.
Information available to us indicates that Mr. Ashok Sivaram was involved in a legal battle with one Sachin Nambeear, who is his business partner, who owns 50% shares in Jai Mai Communications Limited.
Mr. Sachin Nambeear filed a suit on January 24, 2017, at the Commercial Division 7 of the Accra High Court against his partner, Mr. Ashok Sivaram, accusing him of breaking his fiduciary duties to the company and demanding damages for same.
On May 5, 2017, the High Court, Commercial Division, appointed Messrs Ernst & Young to go into the account of Jai Mai Communications Limited, for purposes of valuing the assets of the company, monies and liabilities.
Even before the valuation could be completed, officials from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) arrested and deported Mr. Ashok Sivaram on June 1, 2017, with an order from the Interior Ministry.
However, dissatisfied with the decision of the Interior Minister to deport him, the Indian national filed a suit through his lawyer, Gary Nimako, against Mr. Ambrose Dery and Mr. Kwame Takyi, Director of the Ghana Immigration Service.
The Chronicle gathered that Mr. Ashok Kumar Sivaram insisted his deportation was illegal, unfair and an abuse of office by the officers in charge of the deportation, and demanded he should be allowed to return into the country.
He requested the court to annul his deportation order, and further prayed the court to order Mr. Ambrose Dery and Mr. Kwame Takyi to facilitate his return to Ghana, and once in the country, restore his work permit.
The Chronicle believes that a man of the standing of Mr. Ambrose Dery, as an accomplished lawyer, who is a member of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and an experienced legislator, should have known better than to deport Ashok Kumar Sivaram without giving him a fair trial.
It is an unpardonable mistake on the part of Mr. Dery, who is a former Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament, to close his eyes to a fair trial, because it is said that a man is innocent until proven guilty.
We think that the Interior Minister should learn lessons from this incident, and ensure that next time he decides to take any major decision with regards to his job, he would consult wider and find out what the law says.
We are also appealing to heads of the various government ministries, departments and agencies in the country to be circumspect in their dealings with members of the general public, by exercising fairness and due diligence in all their operations.
It is when laid down rules and regulations are side-stepped that people make avoidable mistakes.