In a Facebook post, Lawyer Sammy Darko has listed nine things to do if faced with an arrest situation. He says to protect your rights;
- Do not volunteer any statements, unless you committed the alleged crime and want to confess to it.
- Do not sign or place your thumb or make a mark on any statements written by the police without going through yourself or read to you by a third party neutral and reflect what you said.
- Do not argue with the police. Be respectful but firm.
- Insist on talking to a lawyer before writing any statement. If you intend to write a statement, at most, just a line or two to deny the allegation(s) against you and declare your innocence.
- After statement, request for bail. You only need sureties for bail. You don’t PAY MONEY for bail at the Police station. In other words- police by law can’t charge you money before granting you bail. That would be gross misconduct with grave consequences. Preserve any such evidence if it happens.
- Sureties are people who can guarantee that you will be available to assist in investigations. They are likely to go and inspect where they live or any property that they may possess that can cover for the bail sum in the event you abscond. Police may deny you bail if it’s in your own interest that they keep you to keep the peace or protect you from harm.
- The number of days Ghana Police can restrict your movement is 48 hours. If they intend to keep you any longer, they are to put you before a Court of competent jurisdiction.
- Unless the court denies you bail, or that your bail terms are so harsh that you are unable to meet the terms, you should get your freedom back that day. If the Police decides not to put you before a court, it may amount to unprofessional behaviour.
- You can file a complaint at Police Intelligence & Professional Standards (PIPS) -except be prepared to follow is up for the next three years lol. Sometimes if you are lucky, Pips have finish on time. Then it will be left with administrative processes blabla. It can be frustrating but if you persist, you may get a break through.
I have been at PIPS for a client since 2018. PIPS, two months ago, concluded its report and found the officer to have misconducted himself: bribery and exceeding police jurisdiction. But, it’s left with what they call service enquiry. So we are looking at say 2022.
Things can go wrong when you are acting within the law many of the times in this part. That is why it’s important to have a lawyer or inform another person of your arrest and where you have been detained if you get the chance. I always also say to clients, never go to a police station alone. Always have another person who can at least get help just incase some rogue officers decide to take the law into his or her own hands.
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