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20.11.2008 General News

Judge Slams 3 Investigators

By Stephen K. Effah & Doris Antwi -

A Circuit Court Judge yesterday reprimanded three police investigators for their lackadaisical attitude towards cases before him, saying their behaviour was affecting the speedy trial of the cases.

At the court's sitting yesterday, the judge, Iddrisu Mahamadu, did not mince words in rebuking Detective Corporal Anokye Amaniampong, a police investigator with the Nima Police, for continuously holding two accused persons in police cells since August 2007.

Mr.Mahamadu said although the records in the case dockets indicated that the two accused persons were in prison custody, they were indeed being held at the Nima police station.

This was after counsel in one of the cases drew the judge's attention to the fact that Cpl. Amaniampong was holding his client in the Nima Police cells instead of Prison custody and had failed to bring the accused to court.

This information infuriated the judge who asked the investigator, who had just brought the accused to court, why he was holding the accused in police custody instead of prison custody.

Cpl. Amaniapong answered that he was keeping the accused in police custody because of transportation difficulties. That explanation did not go down well with the judge who remarked: “How dare you!”

“You think we are joking here! Without shame you can come here to tell us because of transportation difficulties you are keeping the accused in police custody, instead of prison custody”, the judge queried.

Mr. Mahamadu enquired: “Is it because the family members of the accused would bring food and bring you your share? How on earth can you do that? You have decided to write your own laws and implement them in your own ways.”

He said such attitudes of some investigators often fueled the perception  the public had of the judicial system. “The impression is that there is some kind of corruption,” he added.

Ghana, he said, has good laws but the attitude of its people “is what is creating all the mess”.

 Similarly, the judge expressed concerns about the attitudes of Hans Addai and Edward Asante, both police investigators who were not in court yesterday, noting that they had failed to bring narcotics exhibits in the case they were handling to court for an order for their destruction.

He said he even doubted whether the exhibits were still in the custody of the police in view of the failure on the part of the two investigators to bring them for destruction as required by law.

Mr.Mahamadu said that by law, once the plea of  accused persons were taken, a large quantity of the exhibits must be destroyed to leave just a little amount to be used as evidence in the case, especially in the likely event of an appeal.

He said that it was important to let the public see those narcotic drug exhibits destroyed all the time.

He expressed disgust at the disappearance of the two investigators from court room anytime they brought accused persons.