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09.02.2010 Regional News

`Wee` for sale @ Sekondi Prisons

By Alfred Adams Sekondi - Ghanaian Chronicle
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Information reaching The Chronicle indicates that against the rules and regulations, some of the prison officers at the Sekondi Central Prisons have been buying Indian Hemp, otherwise known as 'wee,' from the black market, and supplying them to inmates at the prison for a fee.

The Chronicle sources at the prison allege that in April last year, one of the prison officers, who was named as Lance Corporal Newton Avorgla, was caught carrying and supplying the india hemp to the inmates for an undisclosed amount of money.

Surprisingly the authorities at the prison failed to hand over the officer to the police for prosecution, even though he was caught with the 'leaves'.

When the media, together with the Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), Paul Evans Aidoo, toured the prisons last week, the inmates took turns to explain to this paper how the prison authorities shielded Newton Avorgla, and allowed him to escape prosecution, after he was caught with the 'wee'.

The inmates told this paper that the suspect had been supplying them with the 'wee' for a fee for long time, but nobody dared challenge him.

According to them, the said Prison Officer sometimes collected money from the inmates in advance, before supplying them with the substance.

The Commander of the prisons, Mr. Chris Larvi, confirmed the story when this reporter contacted him, and added that the suspect confessed to the crime when he was interrogated.

When asked by this reporter why the suspect and the substances were not handed over to the police for both examination and possible interrogation, the Prison Commander could not give a definite answer to the question.

He rather told this reporter that the suspect, apparently sensing danger that his conduct might be reported to the police, went AWOL (absent without leave), and has since not been sighted. Commander Larvi further told The Chronicle that Lance Corporal Newton Avorgla had been dismissed from the Prisons Service, and that a search had also been mounted to locate, arrest, and hand him over the police, for the law to deal with him.

Sources at the prisons, however, told The Chronicle that when the officer was arrested, the authorities should have detained him to face service enquiry.

If a prima facie case is established against him, he would then be handed over the police prosecution, but this did not happen.

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