In The Matter Of Cocaine Turning Into Washing Soda: NACOB Boss Fingers The Judiciary
The Executive Secretary of the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB), Mr Yaw Akrasi-Sarpong, has said that the Judiciary must be blamed for the missing cocaine.
Mr Akrasi-Sarpong said this at a press briefing in Accra. The Narcotics Control Board which has a stake in the latest drug case, is raising serious questions about this development and thinks the court must come clean.
“Where is the rest of that cocaine, or where is the rest of the baking powder? Because it is not the court that destroys. Infact, when we are destroying, we invite them. We want to know where the rest of that substance is. Has it been resealed? Why is it that the court used a certain measure to judge? They are supposed to be repositories of justice and yet they could not follow the correct procedure,” Akrasi-Sarpong asked.
The 1.018kg of cocaine, according to him, was accepted in evidence by the court without any qualms after the court, as well as the suspect and the defence counsel, had inspected the exhibit and had been well satisfied that its seals were intact.
The investigator who gave evidence was then ordered to break the seal in open court.
The exhibit was then accepted in evidence, and the chain of custody shifted from the police to the court, he said.
The police, he stressed, would, therefore not take any blame for the missing exhibit, since it only changed into baking powder while in the custody of the court.
Akrasi-Sarpong said that the Chief Justice (CJ) should make the court to answer for the lapses, and everyone connected punished accordingly.
He said that NACOB would also conduct an independent investigation into the matter.
The NACOB boss dared the court to produce the rest of the substance from which samples were taken.
He intimated that the Ghana Standards Board would also have to answer why its officials would carry out analysis without a forwarding letter from NACOB or the CID Headquarters.
The Police have also said that they have no hand in the transformation of the substance since the court received the cocaine in its original state after the Food and Drugs Board testing. The Ghana Police Service has said that it cannot fathom why more than thousand grams of cocaine presented to the court as evidence against a woman being tried for alleged drug peddling, turned into baking soda.
There have been sordid stories of missing narcotics in police custody in Ghana. In 2007, 77 parcels of cocaine intercepted on the vessel MV Benjamin got missing from the police CID exhibit room even though the room had a 24-hour CCTV monitoring and armed guard. Meanwhile, the government has ordered the BNI to probe the latest transformation of cocaine exhibit into sodium bicarbonate.
A full-scale investigation and a committee of enquiry have also been instituted to unravel the mystery behind the secretive transformation of more than a thousand grams of cocaine presented to the court as evidence against a woman being tried for possessing the illegal substance in 2008.
The True Statesman