IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE HIGH COURT
HO - A.D 2018
THE REPUBLIC - (Plaintiff)
AGBEVIADE DOTSE AND DOWODOE VINCENT - (Defendants)
DATE: 17 TH APRIL, 2018
SUIT NO: F23/66/2018
JUDGES: ERIC BAAH JUSTICE OF THE HIGH COURT
GORDON C. AKPADIE FOR APPLICANT
BARBARA YORKE FOR RESPONDENT
The 1st accused/applicant has been charged for possession of narcotic drugs, contrary to Section 2(1) of the Narcotic Drugs (Control Enforcement and Sanctions) Law, 1990, (PNDCL 236). I take note of the position of the Republic not to oppose the application for bail. That decision is weighty and enures to the benefit of the applicant. However, that in itself cannot compel this court to grant the application and admit the applicant to bail. The rules for the grant or refusal of an application for bail are provided for by statute and those rules reign supreme in such applications. It is also a truism under our constitutional dispensation that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The Supreme Court in German v The Republic (2003-2004)2 SCGLR 784, explained that, "the presumption of innocence in article 19(2) of the 1992.constitution was a necessary but not sufficient ground for the grant of bail'. I am required by Section 96(5) of Act 30 to consider whether the applicant will appear to stand trial if admitted to bail. In determining that matter, Sect 92(6) requires further considerations:
(A) Nature of the Accusation/Severity of Punishment (S. 96(6)(a) and (b)
The applicant has been accused of being in possession of narcotic drugs. Under Section 2(2) of PNDCL 236, the minimum sentence is ten (10) years. Worse still, the Act makes the mere possession of the narcotics and offence, and the applicant was allegedly caught in possession. Further, the quantum of the narcotic drugs is mind boggling. The applicant was alleged to be conveying eighty maxi bags of narcotics. By the time the users had completed smoking the drugs, some would have moved from states of sanity to states of insanity. We all also know the close linkage between narcotic drugs and crime. The nature of the charge and the probable sentence on conviction mitigates against the grant of bail.
(B) Whether applicant has a fixed place of abode and is gainfully Employed (S. 96 (6) (e).
The facts disclose that the applicant is a Togolese national resident at Azanu in the Republic of Togo. He therefore has no fixed place of abode in Ghana. There is also no evidence that he is gainfully employed in Ghana. There is accordingly a very high risk that if he is admitted to bail, he may abscond and render the trial a nullity.
(C) Whether the applicant will interfere in the investigations /proceedings CS. 96(5)(b)
Section 96(5) (b) also requires the court to consider whether the accused/applicant will interfere with a witness or the evidence or hamper the investigations or proceedings. When the applicant was arrested, A2 allegedly attempted to bribe the police with the sum of GH¢10,000.00. There is therefore a high likelihood that the applicant or his cohorts will attempt to interfere, hamper or thwart the investigations and prosecution if the applicant is released on bail.
Rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin. I fully recognise the fundamental rights and freedoms of the applicant. But an applicant who had failed to live up to his responsibilities and allowed over 80 maxi bags of narcotic drugs to be loaded onto his vehicle cannot complain and seek to enjoy his full right and freedoms in the teeth of the investigations and prosecution of his case. A grant of bail will amount to a judicial scandal in this case. I conclude that the application has no merit and dutifully dismiss same.