The Awutu Senya District Police Commander, Superintendent Joshua Semenyo has said the desperation of suspects to avoid being dragged to court pushes them to offer money to police officers to get bail.
While he cautioned police officers from extorting money from suspects, he admonished suspects to also stop paying money for bail because it is illegal.
In an interview with crimecheckghana, Superintendent Semenyo said some police officers take advantage of the ignorance and panic of suspects who want to be bailed and charge them illegally before they are released from custody.
He said bail is free and anybody who offers or receives money for bail purposes perpetrates an illegality.
“It is not in the law that you have to pay for the release of a suspect from police custody. I have been telling people that they call for it when they pay for bail because it is free. The person should be here at most 48 hours and then put before court, but you don’t want your brother to be there for even two hours.”
He added, “if you put pressure on the policeman by begging, he knows you have become vulnerable so they will ask for bribe from you.”
Bail is the process of securing the release of an accused person from legal custody. The logic behind bail is based on the need to safeguard an individual’s fundamental right, which is inherent in a human being.
The USAID JSSA
The USAID Justice Sector Support Activity (JSSA) is an intervention to enhance Ghana’s justice delivery system. In implementing the JSSA, it proposes fairness and the protection of the fundamental human rights of persons regardless of their status. The Activity is therefore pushing for education across the country on the laws to make it clear and understandable. It also advocates for the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in a bid to decongest the already choked prisons.
Any individual who has been denied bail or has been asked to pay for bail can contact the following helplines – 0203799978 and 0302766756 kind courtesy USAID JSSA for support for redress.