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05.06.2005 General News

Prisons Authorities Reject Prisoner


Authorities at the Kumasi Central Prisons have rejected a remand prisoner because he is suffering from hernia or “etwo” in Twi, a medical problem that results in the enlargement of the testicles.

Abass Mohammed, 28, was remanded in prison custody in a case in which he and three others were alleged to have engaged in armed robbery in Kumasi but was sent back to the police when the prisons authorities identified his health problem.

The Tafo Police in Kumasi had been forced to take custody of the suspect since May 10, this year. That was because the family of the suspect could not raise ¢5 million to cover the cost of surgery at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

Chief Supt Paul Frimpong Siaw, the Ashanti Regional Police Crime Officer, told the Graphic yesterday that, the police also did not have the financial resources for the surgery.

He said the police were still in contact with Abass' family in a bid to find money for the surgery.

When contacted, the Assistant Director of Prisons in charge of the Ashanti Region, Mr O.K. Tweneboa-Kodua, said his outfit had been given specific instructions not to admit any sick remand prisoner.

He stated that the instruction was in line with a new policy of the Prisons Service Administration not to admit any remand prisoner with certified medical problems.

According to him, the directive followed a recent case in which a sick remand prisoner from Asotwe in the Ashanti Region died at the Kumasi Central Prisons.

After the death, the family of the deceased suspected foul play on the part of the police and the prisons officers.

Mr Tweneboa-Kodua said doctors would have to certify that a sick remand prisoner was fit to serve the term before that person could be taken.

Abass and three others were arrested following a robbery they were alleged to have been involved in Kumasi on December 19, 2004.

The other suspects are Richmond Okyere0, alias Otunde, and two others whose names were given only as Kuntari and Ataabu.

They were arraigned before court and remanded in prison custody. However, when the prisons authorities identified Abass' medical problem, they referred him back to the police for medical attention at KATH.

The hospital demanded ¢5 million for the surgery but the family had not been able to raise the money.

Consequently, the prisons authorities had refused to readmit the suspect at the prisons until the medical problem was taken care of.