Ayikoi Otoo has described COP Patrick Timballah's house arrest as 'unconstitutional'.
Commissioner of Police Patrick Timbillah is no longer under house arrest but remains on interdiction, a release from the Police Administration announced yesterday.
The latest development followed disapproval of the Administration’s action by various lawyers, especially former Attorney General, Joseph Ayikoi Otoo, who likened the action to one taken after a coup attempt.
It appears that the strict regime has been relaxed, it is not certain whether it would satisfy the question posed by the former Attorney General for whom the Superior Police Officer should have had his statement taken in a police station as a routine procedure, with other actions such as interdiction ordered by a court of law.
The Police Administration’s action has prompted an unusual flurry of gossips among both the other ranks and superior officers.
“The action taken against Patrick Timbillah has no place under a constitutional arrangement such as what it obtains in Ghana,” Ayikoi Otoo observed adding, “I don’t think it is quite a common practice under constitutional regimes to hear that people have been put under house arrest….this idea of house arrest is worrying…. it looks a little bit odd for me because it is not a court order.”
“Article 14(2) of Ghana’s Constitution makes it very clear that a person who is arrested, restricted or detained shall be informed immediately in the language that he understands of the reason for his arrest, restrictions for detentions and of his right to lawyer of his choice,” he emphasised.
“By house arrest,” he went on “the house of COP Patrick Timbillah becomes his own jail as he will not be allowed to move out or communicate with the outside world.”
Explaining further, he said the normal procedure would have been to “arrest him [suspect], bring him to the police station, let him write a statement; you grant him bail and he goes home,” adding that he (Otoo) was not sure this action is supported by the law.
“The Constitution talks about custody and we know custody is either prison or police custody…I am not too sure about house custody; but these are things associated with coups d’etat.”
Source: Daily Guide