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21.11.2008 General News

Judge warns investigators

By The Statesman

Justice delayed they say is justice denied. It was therefore not surprising when yesterday an Accra Circuit Court judge minced no words when he sternly warned all procrastinating investigators, especially those that appear before him, to turn on a new leaf or face the consequences.

Although the judge over the months has had the cause to complain about the behaviour of some of these investigators, which delays cases before the court, event that occurred at yesterday's sitting might have led to this stern warning.

At yesterday"s sitting, a lot of cases were adjourned because the investigators handling it either did not turn up in court or disappear from the court room the moment they bring the accused persons for trial, whiles others present half baked docket for trial.

Perhaps, what might have broken the camel's back was when it became known to the court that one particular investigator, Detective Corporal Anorkye Amaniapong, disobeyed the court"s order on two instances when he held two accused persons in two separate narcotic cases in police custody instead of prison custody as directed by the court.

Charles Bawuduah, lawyer for the accused person in the first instance, informed the court that despite its repeated order on November 3, 2008, for his client to be remanded into prison custody, the investigator had refused and held him in police custody.

He told the court that he was not happy at the situation since this was not the first time that he had brought the same matter before the court's notice.

According to him, "the accused person, who has pleaded not guilty to the charge, is in illegally custody.'

The lawyer pointed out that it was unfair for the investigator to hold his client in police custody and not bring him to court as well.

The judge, Iddrisu Mahamadu, after the lawyer's submission, admitted that even at the Regional Tribunal were the case was transferred from; the accused person was remanded in prison custody.

 He expressed dismay at the actions of the investigator to disobey the court order.

Later when the investigator turned up in court with the accused, he was asked to explain where he was brining the accused from to which he replied Nima Police Station.

He said he kept him there because of lack of transportation. This infuriated the judge to warn him.

The second instance was in another narcotic case, which was supposed to come off on November 17 but could not because the same investigator did not appear in court with the accused person on the said date.

It came to light that he was all this time keeping the accused at the Nima Police Station. Detective Corporal Amaniapong then explained to the court that he only brought the accused from Nsawam Prison to the police station on November 14.

He said he was not aware that the case was scheduled for November 17 because he was told by the prosecutor that the case had been adjourned to November 19.

However, the investigator could not provide any tangible reason why he brought the accused person from prison custody to police custody, apart from the lack of transportation.

The judge then warned him that he will be monitored.