7:02, 21.Nov 2016
The Attorney General (AG) cannot be queried in the discharge of eight members of the Delta Force, a private security within the New Patriotic Party (NPP), by a Kumasi Circuit Court after they were arraigned for aiding the escape of 13 of their members from lawful custody, Edmund Foli, a law lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has said.
According to him, the AG acted upon the evidence provided by the investigative team that handled the case, therefore the police should be asked to do a more thorough work.
On Wednesday 17 May, state attorney Marie Louise-Simmons advised prosecutors to drop charges against the group because of lack of evidence against the accused.
The eight were charged with causing disturbances in court, resisting arrest, and rescuing persons in lawful custody when they aided the escape of the 13 Delta Force members arrested for assaulting the security coordinator of the Ashanti Region.
Following the development, the AG’s department received a lot of flak from a section of the Ghanaian public, especially the Minority in Parliament.
Commenting on this matter on the 505 programme on Class91.3FM hosted by Emefa Apawu on Thursday May 18, Mr Foli said: “The investigative part of the exercise rests solely within the domain of the police.
The police will then do that and bring it to the Attorney General’s office for advice. So the Attorney General can only advise on the evidence before it at that stage. If there are any issues with the investigations, I think the Attorney General may be able to draw the attention of the police or the investigative body – the CID – to perhaps take a look at [the issue again]. Perhaps they could have interviewed other witnesses.
“So one alternative might have been to still ask the court to either hold these people or grant the bail as it were.”
He added: “The charges that have been brought against them, much as the matter has generated a lot of public interest, this is a misdemeanour, which generally is not considered to be a very serious crime, but given the characters involved and the parties that were involved, it has generated all this public heat. But let’s remember at the base of it that it is a misdemeanour we are dealing with.
“That doesn’t absorb anybody of the responsibility of doing proper investigations and so attention could have been drawn to the fact that they can amass more evidence.”