A group of legal brains, Lawyers in Search of True Democracy (LINSOD), has taken a swipe at the New Patriotic Party (NPP), for recent threats of non- cooperation when verbally invited by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
The group on the other hand cautioned the BNI to be mindful of the provisions enshrined in the 1992 Constitution in their security operations in order not to trample on the fundamental human rights of individuals.
The group, LINSOD, in a press release issued Wednesday, was commenting on the recent furore surrounding rampant verbal BNI invitations to some former NPP officials and the apparent invitation extended to Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng by operatives of the BNI at the Kotoka International Airport who restrained the former Minister of Information from travelling with his family.
Mr. Asamoah Boateng's confrontation with the BNI coupled with other invitations extended to former NPP officials by the BNI led to the latter receiving public backlash with the opposition NPP issuing a press statement informing the BNI that their members (NPP) would no longer honour verbal invitations from the security outfit. The opposition NPP however at the said press conference indicated their willingness to cooperate with the BNI on condition that the invitations would come in a written form with reasons for the invitation stated.
It is that position taken by the NPP that L1NSOD calls "hypocrisy of the NPP legal machinery". The group observed that "This particular trend of event is shocking to say the least, most especially when it could be deduced that the avalanche of criticisms leveled against the BNI and its operatives have only one objective, that is to stifle the activities of the BNI and its operatives.
"We deem this development not only unfortunate but perilous as well, and if not checked or curtailed may well be a harbinger of evil which will cripple our national investigation machinery", the release added. Waxing a lot of legalese in the release signed by the spokesperson for the group, Chris A. Ackummey to support their arguments, the group disagreed with the stance of the NPP and indicated that "apart from the power to invite, the BNI acting through its officials has the power of arrest with or without warrant depending upon the circumstances".
LINSOD however agrees with the position of the NPP that operatives of the BNI in the discharge of their duties must show their identity. Although the constitution of Ghana provides for the personal liberties of Ghanaians, according to Mr. A. ¬Ackummey, "there are exceptions where such liberties can be curtailed even on a mere suspicion of a person having committed or being about to commit a criminal offence under the laws. of Ghana".
Although Article 14(2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana provides that a person who is arrested, detained or restricted, must be informed of the reasons for the arrest or restriction, LINSOD argues that "an invitation to assist the BNI in its investigation does not constitute an arrest for the reason of the arrest to be disclosed", adding that, "the position of the NPP is therefore flawed in the eyes of the law".
LINSOD therefore advised all aggrieved persons who believe their rights have been infringed upon to "go to court for applications of habeas corpus and mandamus to arrest an act of illegal incarceration of any person without access after 48 hours or pray the court to order the BNI officials to do what is right in the eyes of the law".
Source: The New Crusading Guide
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|