… As Hope Sodzinshie Reinstated and given new appointment
An investigative journalist is challenging authorities and leadership of Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) over the reinstatement and subsequent promotion of an official, Hope Sodzinshie, who is stationed at the GRA Division in Aflao.
The journalist, who has been working directly with some newspaper organizations in Ghana have carried out some investigations on Hope Sodzinshie and published in the media, issues for which Hope Sodzinshie was interdicted.
However, Hope was later brought back into the service which raised serious disaffections among the business community and people who use the Aflao border as entry point of doing business.
Interesting revelations emerged when traders and businessmen and women say the border has become unsafe for businessmen and women, because people considered to be known ?terrorists? have infiltrated the Customs Excise And Preventive Service (CEPS) and having a free range to operate.
Days after publications of stories involving one Hope Sodzinshie, former National Security operative and an ex-soldier, who was alleged to have been sacked from the Ghana Army over thievery and bad behavior, and who has been admitted into CEPS, continues to harass businessmen and women along the border.
Further investigations conducted into the activities along the Ghana-Togo boarder at Aflao revealed that as against the expectations by many people that he will be investigated and sanctioned if possible, the CEPS authority allow him to be at post and continue abusing innocent travelers.
It came up that Hope Sodzinshie who was sacked from the Aflao CEPS office, was later reinstated under strange circumstances. His coming back into the service has raised tension since according to insiders at Aflao CEPS, what caused his dismissal was unpardonable and therefore cannot fathom why he should be brought back.
Some officers who spoke on strict anonymity revealed that, his conduct at the border is causing great havoc and making people to lose confidence in the service.
According to them, since the time Hope Sodzinshie returned to post, he has continuously created an atmosphere of ?looting? where he succeeded in intimidating travelers and businessmen and women who in one way or the other, could not complain, since there is nobody to stand Hope Sodzinshie?s intimidations, and make away with their valuables.
?He does things at will as though the service belongs to his father, and nobody can question his authority,? an insider revealed.
According to colleague officers (names withheld) it is about time CEPS authority and government take a closer look at the activities along the Aflao border especially, the behaviour some officers are putting up including allegations leveled against Hope Sodzinshie.
When some people were asked about the reasons why Hope Sodzinshie was dismissed from the service at the first place, they noted that Hope Sodzinshie, after being dismissed from the Military, once worked with CEPS, but was again sacked for conniving with colleague customs official to allegedly steal goods seized from one Alhaji, a Kumasi businessman.
However, in a letter of response to the National Media Commission (NMC) after Hope Sodzinshie petitioned the NMC over the stories published by the investigative journalist, he (the journalist) challenged Hope to come out publicly and tell the world why he was sacked from the service.
According to the journalist, the publication was a complaint received from people who use the Aflao border for their daily businesses who allege that he, Hope Sodzinshie, uses his position to intimidate them.
?These are allegations levelled against him, and he has the right to respond to them appropriately? he said.
In his letter to the NMC, the said journalist stated that, ?However, we recognise the fact that, per Article 21(1) (a) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, all citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media.
Freedom of Speech and expression means the right to express one’s own convictions and opinions freely by words of mouth, writing, printing, pictures or any other mode, which we think the aggrieved persons have exercised.
Also, free propagation of ideas is the necessary objective and this may be done on the platform or through the press. This propagation of ideas is secured by freedom of circulation.
The freedom of speech and expression includes liberty to propagate not one’s views only, but it also includes the right to propagate or publish the views of other people; otherwise this freedom would not include the freedom of press.?
He pointed out that he was at a loss, when Hope did not state in his letter whether he has been sacked from the Service and what led to his dismissal. ?We believe that for him to refute the allegations means he has the “fact” of the situation as he claims.?
I am challenging him to give us the rue reflection of the situation if he furnishes us with his side of the story, whether he has not been sacked? Why was he sacked? And who reinstated him?
?In as much as we have the right to protect our sources, so does he also has the right to respond to the allegations levelled against him by the very people he deals with in the discharge of his duties on daily basis as a Custom officer in a rejoinder, and we will be more than glad to publish same in order to clear the doubts people harbour in their mind about him.?
However, after failing to give response to these issues, information gathered from the Aflao CEPS has revealed that Hope Sodzinshie had been promoted again.
This promotion is also raising eyebrows.
But when this reporter contacted the Aflao CEPS Boss, Mr. Confidence Nyadzi he indicated that Hope Sodzinshie has been attached to the Task Force to help in its activities.