As part of his human rights advocacy, the lawmaker for Madina Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Hon Francis Xavier Sosu has commenced a process in Ghana’s parliament for a private member Bill on unlawful arrest, detention and for compensation for victims.
The Bill, according to the MP who has over the years fought at the law courts for victims of Injustice sought to introduce a legal system for the compensation of persons who have been wrongfully arrested, detained, and convicted.
Hon Francis Sosu in a MEMO addressed to the Clerk to Parliament sighted by EXPRESSNEWSGHANA, said the proposed bill sought to give legal effect to clauses (5) and (7) of Article 14 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
He argued that “the 1992 Constitution contemplated the need to compensate people who are wrongfully arrested, restrained or restricted. Article 14(5) of the 1992 constitution provides that “a person who is unlawfully arrested, restricted or detained by any other person shall be entitled to compensation from that order person”.
“ Article 14 (7) says “where a person who has served the whole or a part of his sentence is acquitted on appeal by a court, other than the Supreme Court, the court may certify to the Supreme Court that the person acquitted be paid compensation: and the Supreme Court may, upon examination of all the facts and the certificate of the court concerned, award such compensation as it may think fit; or, where the acquitted is by the Supreme Court, it may order compensation to be an aide to the person acquitted.”
“When a crime is committed, there are laid down penalty units provided for by law which prescribes the amount to be paid as a fine, however, there are no laid down law that caters for people who have been wrongfully arrested, detained and or convicted when they get the opportunity to seek redress for the wrongs done them by the state,” he added.
“In the absence of any clear legal basis of computation of compensation, the courts/judges are left to exercise their discretion. In the exercise of this discretion, the compensation awarded by the courts/judges to persons who have been wrongfully convicted, detained and arrested have not been satisfactory as compared to the kind of wrong suffered by the person due to the wrongful acts committed by actors of the state agencies,” Francis Sosu further argued in his proposal.
The Madina MP is therefore seeking parliament support through the Private Members Bill to promote the establishment of a Compensation Act that will cure the abuse by security service persons and the injustices meted out to such victims who are wrongfully arrested, detained, and convicted.