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Regional News of Friday, 17 August 2007

Source: Space FM,Sunyani

B/A Lawyers Slam Police Commander

Space FM, Sunyani, August 17- The Brong-Ahafo Regional Branch of the Ghana BAR Association, has taken the Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwaku Ayesu Opare Addo to the cleaners, for showing constant gross disrespect for the rule of law.

The Lawyers are saying despite his position as the topmost police officer in the region and a trained lawyer, the Regional commander has through his behaviour and utterances demonstrated that he has no respect for the rule of law.

The regional BAR Association stressed that “the regional Police boss has on a number of occasions shown gross disrespect for the very law that established his office and flouted the orders of the various courts of law in the region”.

The lawyers said these at a press conference in Sunyani in reaction to pronouncements by the regional police commander that the police would not deal with the Fiapre Circuit Court again following the bail granted some alleged armed robbers.

The lawyers pointed out that as far back as last year, DCOP Ayesu Opare-Addo blatantly refused to release one Sam Bennett, the Managing Director of Eusbett Hotel in Sunyani and a businessman from police custody after he had been granted bail by the High Court in Sunyani.

They said “it took the intervention of senior citizens and opinion leaders of the township after 6 hours of the Court order to release the said Sam Bennett, and the lawyers continued that, the Regional Police boss boasted that he was releasing the said man not because of the Court order but because of the pleads from the general citizenry”.

The regional BAR Association said DCOP Opare-Addoo ordered the seizure of the properties of Aksher Timber Company, Wenchi without any Court order and refused to respond to numerous court processes served on him.

The High court once again ordered the release of the said items but the Regional Police Commander refused to obey the orders of the High Court in Sunyani.

DCOP was subsequently cited for contempt on March 23, 2007 and on the fixed date for hearing of the contempt case,” he displayed the arrogance of brutal force by surrounding the High Court premises with armed policemen in the company of almost all divisional commanders of the region”.

The Lawyers continued that “Mr. Opare-Addo subsequently apologized and purged himself of the contempt proceedings brought against him but even delayed for over 6 weeks before releasing the said items to Aksher Timber Company”.

The Regional BAR Association said DCOP Opare-Addo has refused to comment on a petition filed against him by Mr. Sampson Dankwa, whose child was allegedly sadly beaten up by the Police boss for no apparent reason.

“His refusal to submit his comment or obey the orders of CHRAJ whose authority is derived from the Constitution has confirmed his disregard for the very body he was trained to police”, they lawyers added.

They recalled that “in the matter of the Republic Vs: Isaac Agyemang, the police boss called the Circuit Court Judge, Sunyani, on phone and ordered him not to grant the accused person bail, showing gross disregard for the power, independence and authority of the judicial service”.

Again “in the matter of the Republic Vs: Nana Adututu Kwarteng and others before the Goaso District Court, the police commander again refused to release the accused persons after a Court of competent jurisdiction had granted bail to the accused persons”.

The lawyers continued that to show his trait of flagrant disrespect for the Courts and rule of law, DCOP Opare-Addo went on air and granted interviews to various radio stations in a matter still pending at the Circuit court, Sunyani.

The lawyers pointed out that it is not true that the alleged robbers were given bail on the first day as purported by the Regional Commander of Police.

The lawyers said, “records available indicates that the said robbers were granted bail of four hundred million cedis with 3 sureties to be justified on the 11th adjournment, and infact the accused persons are still in custody because they have not been able to fulfill the conditions set by the honourable court, besides they are to report to the police every Monday 8:30am”.

The Lawyers observed that, “DCOP Opare-Addo through his behaviour is more or less seeking to incite the public against Lawyers and the Judiciary”.

They explained that his attitude towards the law does not make him the lawyer that he claims to be, adding that “his conduct is a disgrace to the BAR and the members do not accept him as a member of the B/A Bar which he is seeking to bring into disrepute”.

They said the regional Police Commander has indeed through his attitude and actions set a dangerous precedent for the command of the Ghana police Service and this is the time for him to be brought to book by higher authorities.

The lawyers stressed that the police boss does not regard the office of the Regional Attorney General’s Department headed by a competent and senior lawyer.

"Generally where a court pronounces on something that you don’t agree with, the line of action is to appeal against that decision, order or judgment, which he as a lawyer should have known better to refer the matter to the Attorney General’s Department to lodge an appeal if he thinks they have a case" they lawyers stated.

They therefore called upon the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Interior Minister to discipline DCOP Opare-Addo or to re-orient him, adding that the Regional Bar want to see the back of the regional Commander within the shortest possible time in the region.