Justice Yaw Apau
The Sole Commissioner investigating the payment of huge judgement debts and compensations to individuals and organizations has stated that another judgement debt could be paid if the Ghana Police Service fails to properly defend a case in which a dismissed officer has sued the service.
According to Justice Yaw Apau, the Police Service had genuine reasons for dismissing Constable Felix Asante and should properly defend the law suit against it, in order to save the state from paying another huge judgement debt.
?This is a genuine case of proper dismissal, which is why you have to defend it. Because if you do not defend, the court may enter that it was wrongful dismissal and then another huge judgement debt would have to be paid,? the Commissioner emphasised.
Justice Apau stated this when Anthony Kokoroko a Legal Officer at the Ghana Police Service represented the Inspector General of Police at the judgement debt hearing yesterday in a case in which compensation was paid to the family of late Stephen Danomah who was shot by Constable Asante.
Narrating what led to the death of the victim, Mr. Kokoroko said:
On December 11, 2008 a police patrol team operating around the Tesano area in Accra made up of four police officers including Constable Asante received a distress call that occupants of a taxi with registration number GW3182R parked near the Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC), were allegedly robbing people of their mobile phones.
The patrol team upon reaching the scene realized the taxi driver was driving in the wrong lane and signalled him to stop, but he refused.
The police then pursued the taxi to the Karldorf drinking spot area at Tesano where the said taxi driver knocked down someone but refused to stop.
The Police kept pursuing the taxi driver till he got to the Dimples traffic light near Dzowulu, where the police managed to cross the vehicle such that the driver had no way to escape.
It was at this point that Constable Asante got down from the patrol car in an attempt to deflate the tyres of the taxi, to make it immobile.
In the process, his gun ?inadvertently? went off and hit the late Mr. Danomah one of the occupants of the taxi killing him instantly.
Mr. Danomah was a student at the Central University College.
However, Mr. Kokoroko who was led in evidence by Dometi Kofi Sokpor, counsel for the Commission, stated that the other police officers at the scene gave a different account which suggested that Constable Asante actually shot at the late Danomah, and that it was not an accident.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police Service conducted an investigation into the incident and recommended that the police officer involved in the matter should be sanctioned.
Constable Asante was summarily dismissed on October 4, 2010, and the family of late Danomah who took the case to the Attorney General were given a compensation of GH?42,000.
Suit Against Police Service
Constable Asante in March 8, 2012 filed a writ of summons at the High Court against the Police Service stating that he was wrongfully dismissed.
According to Mr. Kokoroko the Attorney General asked the Police Service for its comments on the matter, which it has submitted awaiting further response.
National Archives In Danger
The Acting Director of the Public Records and Archive Administration, Felix Nyarko Ampong, also appeared before the commission to outline some of the challenges facing his department.
He indicated that the department, which has not seen any renovation since it was built in 1963, has all its records on paper without any backup.
He stated that if government did not come to its aid, most records that have been kept since 1963 could be lost for good.
The commission has adjourned sitting to August 5, 2013.
By Esther Awuah