JUSTICE YAW Apau, the Sole Commissioner investigating the controversial judgement debts and compensation payments to individuals and organisations yesterday entreated a 77-year-old dismissed police officer Emmanuel Yaw Blessie to sue the Attorney-General (A-G) for his wrongful removal from office.

Ex-DSP Emmanuel Yaw Blessie was advised by Justice Apau after he petitioned the sole commissioner over what he described as his wrongful removal from office in 1983 or thereabout.

?Notify the A-G about your intention to sue in this matter.

I think if we are going to give any recommendation at all, it may be based on any follow up action you take in court. We would advise but I think it is better to take the matter up in court,? Justice Apau admonished the witness.

Justice Apau?s Commission covered by C.I 79, is enquiring into the payment of Judgement Debt and Akin matters such as payment of frivolous and dubious payments of huge monies to undeserving individuals and companies, totalling about $640 million.

The sole commissioner was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama after public uproar over the payments in what has now come to be termed as Judgement Debts (JD).

Notable among them were payments made to CP (?94 million) and the never-ending case of GH?51.2million parted to the self-styled NDC financier, Alfred Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.

Even though some of the cases are pending in court, the Sole Commissioner has been tasked with the responsibility to investigate all judgement debt cases to unravel the circumstances that led to the payments.

Witness? Testimony

IGP Mohammed Alhassan

IGP Mohammed Alhassan

DSP Blessie who was accompanied by his counsel Christoph Koka told the sole commissioner that he was enlisted into the Ghana Police Service on May 31, 1961.

He said he entered the Police College in 1978 and passed out as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), after rising through the through the ranks.

Mr. Blessie indicated he was later posted to Volta Region as a crime officer and subsequently transferred to Koforidua, Eastern regional capital.

According to him, he was posted to the Upper West Region in 1983 as the first crime officer in charge of the region during the military administration of Jerry John Rawlings

He recounted that after successfully opening the regional crime office, it was announced on air that some police officers including him had been removed from office.

?I was not told any reason why I was dismissed through the announcement and three days later some military officers came for me at the barracks. Subsequently, they transferred me to Usher Fort Prison in Accra, later to Greater Accra BNI office and sent back to Usher Fort where I was detained for two and half years without being charged,? Mr. Blessie narrated.

He said while in prison, the Amnesty International took action against the military government by filing habeas corpus in court and he was subsequently released from prison.

Witness At NRC

Mr. Blessie told the sole commissioner he presented his case to National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), which was set up under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration to help reconcile the nation.

?At the Commission, I narrated my story that I was dismissed, detained without any charge.?

He said that following his appearance at the NRC, the Commission wrote a letter to the IGP and the Police Council for him to be reinstated and promoted to the next higher rank of Superintendent of Police.

The NRC, according to him, also recommended that he should be retired and all his benefits paid to him because he was about 71 years at the time, far above the retirement age of 60.

However, NRC?s recommendation was not implemented.

Mr. Blessie informed the sole commissioner that Patrick Acheampong was the IGP at the time he presented the NRC?s recommendation to the Ghana Police Service.

?I went to the IGP with the recommendation and he later handed it over to the acting IGP, Mrs. Elizabeth Robinson and they told me they were looking into it.

?Incidentally, my lord, the lady IGP was my cadet mate so I walked to her every day to remind them about my plight but unfortunately nothing was done and I later heard that she was posted Mali as Ghana?s Ambassador to that country,? Mr. Blessie added.

Justice Apau?s Comments

Justice Apau slammed the police for not implementing the recommendations of the NRC.

?I think the National Reconciliation Commission was not established just for nothing. It was established for a purpose.

?When the Commission made recommendations, the recommendations must be complied with by state institutions,? he reiterated.

Advice to the witness

Visibly touched by the plight of the 77-year-old man, Justice Apau advised him to take the matter up in court for redress.

?I will advice you that you take the matter to court and we also advise the Attorney-General accordingly, because if nothing is done and the witness goes to court, final outcome will be judgment debt payment so it falls within our domain,? the Sole Commissioner stated, urging counsel for the witness to assist his client.

Asked whether he had petitioned the A-G about the case, Mr. Blessie said he had the opportunity to work with the national security so he always walked to the A-G?s office to plead with him to help.

However, all his efforts did not yield any fruitful result.

By Awudu Mahama

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