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08.02.2007 General News

Ex-cop drags IGP to court

By Gilbert Boyefio
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An Ex-Police Lance Corporal, Joseph Goku has sued the Inspector General of Police for unlawful retirement from the Police Service using medical reasons.

Mr Goku is seeking a declaration from the court that his purported retirement is unconstitutional, a violation of his fundamental human rights and contrary to law.

He is also seeking an order directing the IGP to reinstate him forthwith to the position he held in the Ghana Police Service before his retirement , and the payment of all his salaries and allowances that would have been due him but for his purported retirement on medical grounds.

L/Cpl Goku is further pleading the court for a compensation for the infractions on his fundamental human rights and the financial loss resulting from his having been retired wrongfully and pre-maturely from the Ghana Police Service, and any such orders and directions that the court may deem meet for the purpose of remedying the infringement of his fundamental human rights.

In January 2006, L/Cpl Goku claimed that he was asked by his Superior Officer, Superintendent Paul Avuyi, to report to the Police Hospital for a medical examination. He said at the hospital he was presented before a panel of two persons who asked him a few questions and discharged him.

But on February 2, 2006, he was retired from the Police Service on medical grounds by a letter he received under the instructions of the IGP, with effect from July 23, 2006. The letter signed by the Director General of Police in Charge of Welfare, G Anin-Botwe, stated amongst other things that L/Cpl Goku had been granted 70 days leave with effect from March 15, 2006 to May 23, 2006, and a two month special sick leave with effect from May 24, 2006 to July 22, 2006 and to retire thereafter.

On May 15, 2006, Solicitors from L/Cpl Goku wrote to the IGP about the alleged irregularities in the process but did not receive any reply.

According to L/Cpl Goku, the grounds for retiring an officer on medical grounds were not applicable in his case, and beside the procedures for retiring an officer on medical grounds as stipulated by Regulation 26 of the Police Service (Administrative) Regulations, 1974 (L I 880) and in general administrative due process were not followed by the Service.

L/Cpl Goku was enlisted into the Ghana Police Service in October, 1995, with service Number 32053. He was stationed at Afienya, in the Greater Accra Region at the time of his unlawful retirement.

However, in their affidavit in opposition, the Police Service claimed that L/Cpl Goku had consistently overindulged in alcohol and despite numerous warnings by his superiors, he persisted in his overindulgence, which adversely affected the performance of his duties, and hence the setting up of the medical board to examined him.

The Service stated that in January, 2004, another report specifically on L/Cpl Goku was sent by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Tema to the IGP cataloguing L/Cpl Goku's behaviour at the Afienya Station, including the fact that due to his drinking problems he has been stopped from investigating accident cases.

"He was punished for sleeping on duty on November 14, 2003, and reporting late for duty on January 1, 2004”, the report indicated.

Based on the above report the medical board was set up by the IGP which revealed signs of chronic alcoholism such as generalised coarse tremors and poor balancing to the effect that he was unable to execute simple police parade commands.

The Board concluded that L/Cpl Goku suffers from chronic alcoholism making him medically unfit for the Police Service, and therefore recommended his retirement on medical grounds.

At yesterday"s proceedings, Counsel for L/Cpl Goku, Raymond Atuguba, was asked by the court to file his statement of case and serve the Defendant within 14 days. Counsel for the Defendant was also asked to file a response within 14 days of being served.

The case has been adjourned for 21 days.

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