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24.05.2005 Feature Article

Don't EVER grant bail to armed robbers

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I write in support of an article "Don't grant bail to armed robbers", GNA, Wednesday, 18 May 2005; as stated by Brigadier-General Francis Agyemfra, for the review of the country's laws to enable magistrates and judges to deny bail to armed robbers. I also empathized with Mr. Gyemfra that imposing on life sentences on armed robbers and other hardened criminals would incapacitate them.

I wrote a recent article regarding armed robbery -"Security Concerns; A Big Minus for Tourism in Ghana", as result of an issued security precaution for American citizens in Ghana on April 5th by the US State Department. The warning cited a recent increase in violent crimes in Ghana involving American citizens and other foreigners. These crimes ranged from armed home invasions, highway robberies, vehicle break-ins, and street crimes. Some of these incidents resulted in serious injuries and, in one case; rape".

Mr. Gyemfra also referenced a sharp rise in armed robbery and drug trafficking in the country. He blamed the situation partly on the granting of bails and early releases of offenders by the courts. This should be taken seriously as a cancer which needs to be dealt with ASAP before it continues to sow enough seeds of discontent, frustration, fear, panicking to wreck the democratic foundation which has been laid.

When these armed robbers are given hefty bails they somehow raise these amounts and are released. Once free, they regroup and then attack innocent, hardworking and bread-winning victims. Where they get their weapons constantly to commit such atrocious crimes are beyond me. Judges should have strict sentences when these armed robbers are caught. They should be placed in custody until their court dates are set and then sentenced and confined to rot.

Another concern was one of the comments I received about the article which read;

"The Ghana police are so corrupt that people have lost faith in them. When criminals are exposed to them by the individuals; the police in turn expose the whistle blower so nobody wants to get involve in tipping the police about any criminal hide outs.

There are many families who have been torn apart as a result of armed robbery. Some in the Diaspora are scared to even go back home as a result of this. There are victims who have suffered physically and emotionally, and it is about time the law courts take serious actions to eradicate this disease.

Corruption is part of the reason why armed robbery is increasing. Until such practice within the force is completely removed, it is going to be hard for armed robbery to decrease. There are also some reports that the security agencies are doing its work to combat armed robbery. It must continue its work and give the general public confidence that they are safe all the time.

Ghana needs investors from other countries and must do better to combat armed robbery. Armed robbery sends a wrong signal that investments would not be protected.

The Attorney General should remove from office any big mouth, alter ego, insatiable greed and corrupt judges and police officers if any who go behind close doors negotiating with culprits family members so the culprits could be given a bail or lighter sentences.

This might sound like a human rights abuse but may be if Parliament makes a law where one hand of the each armed robber is amputated as their punishment just as it is done in some parts of the Middle East, it will send a serious message. Also the same punishment should be given to those who defile girls as little as 2 years of age. How despicable is that. I bet if those laws existed, we will never have heard a name called "Atta Ayi" and the constant reportage of defilements.

Those armed robbers should be put out for good and leave Ghanaians to enjoy their good lives with no fear.

Our sweat and toil becomes some mentally deranged and low life armed robbers' gains. Our children become prey to some hopeless adults who need to be given 200 lashes with iron rods.

"WE NO GO SIT DOWN MAKE THEM ROB US EVERYDAY O!!! ". Akwasampafuo be bre dabi. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Mr. CNN-Mensah
Mr. CNN-Mensah, © 2005

The author has 23 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: CNNMensah

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