An Accra High Court has convicted former Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Akrasi Sarpong, of contempt of court.
He was sentenced to sign a bond to be of good behavior and in default, serve two months in prison with hard labour, for making comments deemed derogatory, by the court. A Daily Graphic reporter, who wrote a news story about Mr. Sarpongis comment, was also sentenced to pay a fine of GH₵ 5,00,00 and in default serve two months in prison.
His comments come on the heels of a court ruling in which the President Judge Justice Charles Edward Ekow Baiden granted bail to one Chief Sunny Ikechukwu Benjy Eke, a 53-year-old businessman, and his alleged accomplice, James Eleke Chukwu, 47, a second-hand clothes dealer. Chief Eke was arrested and remanded in prisons custody in 2013 for allegedly attempting to smuggle 281,604 grammes of liquid cocaine with a street value of over $12.5 million into the country. The drug was allegedly concealed in a 40-footer container filled with 1,946 boxes of shampoo imported from Bolivia in South America to Ghana.But, Mr. Sarpong, unsatisfied with the bail, is quoted to have said that the terms for the bail were very unfortunate because Chief Eke was known to have jumped bail in Brazil.
Mr. Sapong alleged that all international drug agencies were hunting for Chief Eke, but could not arrest him until he was nabbed in Ghana.
The former NACOB boss argued that the judge, in using his discretion as required by law, should have considered the past record of the suspect, which was public knowledge.
He said the fight against transnational organised crime is not for the security agencies alone but the whole justice delivery system in the country.
Mr. Sarpong warned that if the suspect escaped, nobody should blame NACOB because the board would use meagre state resources to monitor him (the suspect) as the walks free in the streets of Accra, a situation which he could take advantage of to escape again.
However, Justice Baiden, considered Mr. Sarpongs comments as being in contempt of court, which sought to undermine the credibility and integrity of the judicial system. Additionally, the presiding judge said the comments were wrong and unacceptable.
Source: The Ghanaian Times