1. Kweku Baako flaunts a letter from the Registrar of the High Court (Commercial Division), Accra, Stephen Afotey, which said letter was directed at the Lands Commission to expedite action on a search the POLICE (and not the COURT) had told the court it was conducting at the Lands Commission to verify a copy of the Land Certificate belonging to Dr. George Hika-Benson.
When the police refused to bring Gregory Afoko to the registry of the court to execute the bail bond as requested by the Registrar of the High Court (Criminal Division), Accra, Issahaku Musah, after he had written to them in a letter dated 23rd April 2019 and which said letter was served on the police on 24th April 2019, lawyers for Gregory initiated contempt proceedings against the police (IGP, DG of CID &, the investigator in charge of the case) for disregarding a lawful court order granting bail to Gregory Afoko.
This contempt application was assigned to the High Court (Commercial Division 3), Accra, presided over by Her Ladyship Jennifer Doodo.
When the contempt matter was called for hearing, and the police was asked why they were delaying in bringing Gregory to the Court registry to come and execute the bail bond as requested by the Registrar of the High Court (Criminal Division), the police through their lawyer, a Chief State Attorney, informed the court that they were conducting a search at the Lands Commission in respect of the Land Certificate presented by one of the sureties aforementioned.
Note that when a court grants bail with conditions to an accused person, it is the registrar of the court (and NOT the police) who ensures that the bail conditions are met. No law gives that power/authority to the police.
So the court obliged the police when they said they were conducting their search without asking whether the Registrar of the High Court (Criminal Division) had done all the searches needed. Therefore, to ensure that there was no further delay by the police in securing their search results, the judge ordered the Registrar of the High Court (Commercial Division), Stephen Afotey, to write to the Lands Commission to expedite its search so that it didn’t delay the matter any further, hence the letter being bandied around by Kweku Baako.
Take note that at this stage the Justice Jennifer Doodo did not know that the Registrar of the High Court (Criminal Division) had already conducted the search and the valuation at the Lands Commission and the Architectural & Engineering Services Limited (AESL), respectively.
So on the 11/6/19 when the contempt matter was called again and the police were still saying that the search at the Lands Commission was still not ready, lawyers for Gregory Afoko informed the court that the police were only using their alleged search at the Lands Commission as a further delay tactic in releasing Gregory since the court itself had already done its search.
This piece of information angered the presiding judge who realized that the police were taking her court for a ride. She called the parties (Gregory didn’t enter because he was in the dock) and their lawyers into her chambers, and called a deputy Registrar of the High Court (Criminal Division), one Mr. Brobbey, to find out from him in the presence of lawyers for both sides whether the court itself had conducted any search and valuation, and the said Mr. Brobbey answered in the affirmative and produced evidence of what he said!
After satisfying herself with the fact that the court itself had done its search and valuation, the judge there and then told the police to stop any search they were doing. THIS ORDER EFFECTIVELY MADE NONSENSE OF THE LETTER EARLIER WRITTEN BY STEPHEN AFOTEY ON THE ORFERS OF THE SAME JUDGE TO THE LANDS COMMISSION. The effect was that the letter being read by Kweku Baako lost its potency and became irrelevant! The judge on the same day (11/6/19) made an order directed at the police to produce Gregory at the registry to execute the bail bond. This was disrespected by the police!
2. Kweku Baako reads correspondences between the police and the Lands Commission. The said correspondences were to the effect that the commission should conduct a search in respect of the property the surety afore-mentioned had provided its original land certificate to the Registrar of the High Court (Criminal Division) to conduct a lawful search which as stated earlier he did, and also the commission writing back to tell the police that without the original land certificate it could not conduct the search the police were looking for.
The Land Registration Division of the Lands Commission before it accepts to conduct a search in respect of any landed property, it takes the original land certificate and not photocopies!
Granted it was even lawful for the police to conduct its own search, the police wrote to the Commission attaching a photocopy of the land certificate of the surety’s prooerty asking it to conduct a search for the police.
The Commission writes back to the police asking them to produce the original copy of the land certificate but the police did not have and so they got stuck.
In a letter signed by Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, the Director-General, CID and addressed to Dr. George Hika-Benson, the surety who owned the property asking him to produce his original land certificate to the police but he refused. Instead, Dr. Hika-Benson referred the letter to me and instructed me to respond to the police which I did.
In the said letter I informed the police that they had no authority to conduct any further search and sent same by courier service (I think DHL) with Tiwaa Addo-Danquah’s name as the addressee. Strangely, the letter I wrote was returned to my office via DHL. The letter was not even opened! I guess she would read no letter from a lawyer.
So even before Justice Jennifer Doodo could stop them from their busy-body search, the police themselves had hit an unsurmountable road block and could not have progressed beyond that because they could not get the original land certificate!
So Kweku Baako if you read correspondences that suggest to you that the police could not conduct their busy-body unlawful search, it did not mean that the court did not conduct its search to satisfy itself of the original document the surety submitted to the Registrar of the High Court (Criminal Division) was genuine.
YOU CAN THEREFORE NOT STATE THAT BECAUSE OF THE POLICE’S INABILITY TO CONDUCT THEIR UNLAWFUL SEARCH, GREGORY AFOKO DID NOT FULLY MEET THE BAIL CONDITIONS! PER THE RECORDS HE FULLY MET THE CONDITIONS THAT WAS WHY THE REGISTRAR WROTE TO THE POLICE TO BRING HIM TO THE REGISTRY TO EXECUTE THE BAIL BOND!
BECAUSE JUSTICE JENNIFER DODOO WAS SATISFIED THAT GREGORY HAD MET ALL THE CONDITIONS ACCORDING TO THE REGISTRAR THAT WAS WHY SHE MADE THE 11TH JUNE 2019 ORDER ASKING THAT GREGORY SHOULD BE BROUUGHT TO COURT FORTHWITH TO EXECUTE THE BAIL BOND.
Take note that it was not their (POLICE) duty in the first place to want to do that. Therefore, that assertion of yours falls flat on its face!
Kweku Baako, law and procedures are technical in nature. Don’t pretend to understand them.
In short, GREGORY AFOKO met all the bail conditions in good time. Your people just refused to let him go. Where is the rule of law.?
Anyway, if you took some form of inducement to come and defend this despicable, indefensible and egregious violations of an individual’s rights, you failed woefully! Better luck next time.
Nana Yaw Osei, ESQ.