The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has accepted culpability in the assault of a Niger national at the Law Court Complex in Accra.
This, is according to the lawyer, of the Nigerien, Alexander Afenyo-Markin.
Attempts by officials of NACOB to arrest the Nigerien, one Halidou Morou, after a court hearing, escalated into a melee when his brother tried to intervene.
This resulted in a struggle between Morou’s brother and the officials.
A video making rounds shows an official of NACOB pinning Morou’s brother down with his knee, whilst two other officials are seen to be stomping on him.
Morou, together with his brother, were eventually arrested and whisked away in the full view of numerous bystanders, including Mr. Afenyo-Markin, by the officials who claimed they were effecting orders issued from above.
‘NACOB officials were not directed to effect arrest’
Following a meeting involving NACOB officials in relation on the incident on Thursday, Mr Afenyo-Markin revealed that the NACOB boss, Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, said no orders were given to arrest Morou and that his outfit erred.
According to Mr. Afenyo-Markin NACOB has also accepted to pay for the medical expenses of the two who have had to undergo some medical treatment after the assault.
“Mr. Akrasi Sarpong accepted that what his people did was wrong and said he never directed them to go and arrest Morou or anybody else and he has decided to pay the full hospital expenses,” Mr. Afenyo-Markin revealed.
No diplomatic row between Ghana and Niger
There were fears that the assault on the Nigerien nationals may spark a diplomatic row, but Mr Afenyo-Markin quelled such fears, noting that Morou’s family had accepted the apology from NACOB and that the Nigerien Embassy was being updated on the incident.
“He [Akrasi Sarpong] has apologized and the family is fine with that except that Nigerien Embassy wants a full report on the state of affairs which I will do well to update them on.” “I have conveyed the assurances received from Mr. Akrasi Sarpong to the Embassy that they should allay their fears.
“There is no cause for alarm for the time being.” he added. NACOB to investigate incident promised to institute an in-house investigation to bring the offenders in this assault to book.
“He [Akrasi Sarpong] has promised that he will institute an in-house investigation and bring them to book. I have given a formal complaint to his office.
He has given his word that those people will be disciplined and he will not sleep on the matter so I am waiting on him to do what is right.”
On September 10, 2012, officials from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), seized $400,000 from Morou when he made a transit stop at the Kotoka International Airport.
The seizure was because the said amount was more than US$10,000, the maximum amount of money that an individual can travel with as stipulated by the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006.
The Financial Division of the High Court on September 12, 2013, subsequently ordered the state to confiscate the money following an application by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
The court ordered that the money be shared with 15 per cent to the Judicial Service, 10 per cent to the Attorney-General’s Department, 70 per cent to NACOB and five per cent to EOCO.
The owner of the amount Morou, filed a suit challenging the seizure of his money.
His application was eventually granted with the court ordering the state to release his money back to him on Wednesday. This then led directly to the incident that saw the officials of NACOB arrest him outside the court after the ruling, and the assault that followed.