Illegal deportation: Ghana is not a ‘Banana Republic’ – Judge

General News of Friday, 4 August 2017



Supreme Court

An Accra High Court judge, Justice Mr Justice Kweku T. Ackah-Boafo has slammed respondents in the State versus Indian businessman, Ashok Sivaram that Ghana is not a Banana Republic.

The judge says Ghana is a country governed by law hence the laws that govern the state should be applied where necessary.

He made the remarks when respondents brought the applicant who they kept in detention to court to show just course for their action.

The Indian businessman, Ashok Kumar Sivaram who was deported by the Ministry of Interior in May 2017 but secured a High Court ruling that quashed the deportation has been detained since Wednesday at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on his return to Ghana.

His counsel, lawyer Gary Nimako filed an Order for Habeas Corpus asking the Minister of Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, the Comptroller of Immigration, Mr Kwame Takyi and the Command-in-Charge of Immigration Service to produce Mr Sivaram to the High Court by 12noon on Friday to justify his detention.

He also secured an order preventing Mr Sivaram from being removed from the jurisdiction before he is produced before the court on Friday and that based on the information before the court, should any of the respondents defy the order they shall be in breach and would be brought to show cause why they should not be committed for contempt.

Appearing before the court today [Friday], counsel for the respondents said the applicant was detained because he arrived in the country without a visa.

Lawyer Peter Claper Nantuo when asked why they held the applicant in custody said, he does not believe he [Ashok] was detained but was held because he did not have a visa. He explained that any foreigner entering Ghana, should have a visa and because the officials from the Immigration Service found out that he did not have, held him in custody.

The applicant he said was examined and was taking through a profiling to find out if he [applicant] had the needed documentation.

According to the lawyer, they were lenient because they could have re-deported him back to India.

Lawyer for the applicant, Gary Nimako said he gathered from a reliable source that, the Interior Minister had ordered the re-deportation of his client upon arrival at the airport.

The court subsequently ruled that the applicant should be released from custody with immediate effect.

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