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Opinions of Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Columnist: Agbo, Justino

Complaint of corruption at ACCRA Airport

...., my family has been victimized

The Director of Ghana Immigration in Accra.
Independence Avenue, ACRRA, GHANA

My Name is Justino K. AGBONON
I'm writing to complain about a situation that troubled and sickened me
last night as a human. My family has been a victim of a gross extorsion on
the part of your immigration officials at the Kotoka Intl airport in
Accra.Here's what took place at the airport last night.

My wife was booked on AliTALIA flight 845 originating from Accra last
night (monday the 16 of April) at 10:50pm heading to the US. She was
traveling from Accra where she has been living for the last 9 years as a
refugee. She got her US visa from the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana and is
holding a passport from Togo. As a citizen of an Ecowas member country, she
doesn't need a visa in her passport to be able to come to GHANA. At the
airport yesterday the immigration officers checking her passport asked for
one million and a half because she did not have a stamp in her passport.
She has been living in Accra as a refugee since 2006 and never traveled
outside the country. She holds a refugee travel document which has been
issued to her in Accra by the ministry of foreign affair. This travel
document was not accepted at the US embassy for a US visa, where they
requested a national passport. Then she did acquired the national passport
which has been issued and sent to her in Accra via a family
menber.Therefore she has no way of stamping her passport at any border
before he US visa has been issued in the passport. Then at the airport in
Accra last night, the immigration services requested and charged her a
million and half cidis for not having a stamp which is totally ludicrous
and unacceptable to me. She was carrying our three years old son Prince
Kofi who was born in Accra in 2008 and holds a US passport which has been
issued at the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana.Despite her pleas, the immigration
officers wouldn't let her go. While she was pleading with the immigration
officials, telling them she has no money, They verbally abused her by
telling her that if she didn't pay the money she will miss her flight. One
even pushed her aside and said you need to pay the money or you're not
going anywhere. This made her decided to go out and look for money. While
this ordeal was unfolding she has nobody around her to turn to. She has
been compelled to go outside and told the story to my nephew Romeo
tel:(233) 0241612189 who took her to airport for the trip. Romeo has to
turn to his mother and borrowed a million cidis from her and gave it to my
wife and told her to get a receipt from whomever took the money from her.

Our son who wasn't feeling well a the time this was going on and needs some
attention from her,She was so stressed out and could do anything to him at
that point. Due to this event he's suffered a fever attack and is now sick.
Your agents at the airport last night should be held responsible for this.

When my wife came back with the million cidis, she handed it to whoever
asked for the money. When she requested a receipt he told her,I asked for
one million and a half, you gave me a million and you want a receipt? "Get
out of here" he said to her.
This event has infuriated me to the point I cannot tolerate my family being
humiliated to that point. I decided to bring this to your attention and I'm
bringing a lawsuit against Ghana immigration services as a US citizen for
physical and verbal abuse of my wife ans son, a violation of their rights,
aggravation of stress and emotional distress.My attorney has been contacted
and is now working on the case. First of all, and before anything, I need
this one million cidis be reimbursed to the owner from whom my wife
borrowed it. Romeo was the key witness to this situation and borrowed the
money and gave it to my wife. For more detail about this issue please
contact him at: 0241 612 189. Romeo's brother Messan was also there too, He
can be reached at 0277833864.

Let me remind you that the Ghana immigration services at the airport has
done the same thing to me a couple years ago when I visited my family in
Ghana. I was holding a US passport with a five years multiple entry visa
issued here at in the US. I stayed for 63 days. When I was leaving I was
held at the immigration services where some agents were trying to tell me
that I overstayed my visa and I should pay two hundred dollars before they
let me go.They think they're dealing with a baffoon or a moron like them. I
quitely and politely reprimanded them and proved to them that I know my
rights more than what they do. I rejected their demand and left. I even
dared anyone who would follow me and focred me to pay at the time but no
one did.
How many people are being victimized everyday by these corrupted
pratcices in that airport on the part of the Ghana immigration.This is
tarnishing the image and the reputatuon of Ghana. And the good
anti-corruption plocies this goverment has put in place are being destroyed
these corrupt agents at the airport. You need as director to put some order
in that house and the corrupted agents need to be cleaned out.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

With respect,

36 Mansfield Street # 12
Somerville, MA 02143
United States,
Tel: 6176282040