Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Human Rights Court restrains NACOB

 March 5, 2013 (page 20)

The Human Rights Division of the Fast Track High Court has restrained the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and its disciplinary panel from holding any disciplinary proceedings into the alleged conduct of two officials.
The order was directed at the Executive Secretary and the Governing Board of NACOB following a motion for interim injunction filed on behalf of the two officials by their lawyers, Mr Andy Appiah-Kubi and Mr Emmanuel Bright Atokoh.
The main motion is to be moved on Thursday, March 7, 2013.
According to Mr Appiah-Kubi, during the pendency of the application, the restraint applied.
The two officials, Nana Sanzah Erzah and Fatimatu Abadulai, filed an application praying the court to restrain their employers from instituting disciplinary proceedings against them after they had been discharged by another court.
In granting the application, the court, stated, “It is hereby ordered that the Executive Secretary and the Governing Board of the Narcotics Control Board and, indeed, the disciplinary panel are restrained from holding any disciplinary proceedings into the alleged conduct of the applicants in the interim until the application is heard on its merit when notice would have been given to them.”
 Nana  Ezrah and Ms  Abdulai were among six officials of NACOB who were interdicted in August 2011 for allegedly aiding drug traffickers at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The Accra Circuit Court had, on November 6, 2011, discharged the six officials, together with four others, including three policemen, for want of prosecution.
The court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, in discharging the accused persons, said, “I do not think it is a good path for us to take if accused persons will be arraigned before court but will not be prosecuted. I think this may open the floodgates for people to make unsubstantiated allegations against people and will only go to sleep.”
The other NACOB officials are Mr Denis Adutwum Gyimah, Mr Timothy Abolimpoh, Mr Mutawakilu Yahaya Iddi and Mr Jerry John Kwesi Abiw.
Although the three policemen — Eric Darko Akuffo, Yakubu Issah and Peter Asong — were reinstated into the Ghana Police Service in December 2011, the NACOB officials were recalled only on February 11, this year.
However, three days after they had resumed duty, the Executive Secretary of NACOB, Mr Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, per a February 14, 2013 letter, invited the six officials to appear before a disciplinary panel to be investigated for misconduct, failure to perform in a proper manner duties reposed in them, abuse of office, breach of the confidence that NACOB reposed in them and conducting themselves in such a manner that tended to bring NACOB into disrepute.
But even before the disciplinary panel, chaired by Mr Francis Torkonoo, could start its work on February 18, 2013, two of the affected officials, Nana Sanzah Ezrah and Ms Fatimatu Abdulai, secured an interim injunction from the Human Rights Court to restrain the executive secretary and the governing board of NACOB and the disciplinary panel from holding any disciplinary proceedings against the officials.
Story by Mabel Aku Baneseh

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