Akwasi Osei-Adjei, former Foreign Affairs Minister, whose traveler’s passport was confiscated by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) when he was ‘invited’ for interrogation, would this morning appear before an Accra High Court, seeking that his seized passport be returned to him.
Osei-Adjei has described the seizure of his passport as an illegality and an abuse of his human rights, dragging to court the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the Director of BNI.
The ex-Minister had his passport taken from him last May when he was ordered through a phone call to report at the office of the BNI to help in investigating a case in which the Government of Ghana pleaded with the Government of India to wave a ban on the exportation of food products so as to allow rice to be exported from the Asian country to Ghana.
On arrival at the BNI, Osei-Adjei was not charged with any offence but a number of security agents were dispatched to follow him to his private residence and ensure that he handed over his traveler’s passport to them.
Osei-Adjei has sued the Justice Minister, government’s principal legal advisor, for illegality, abuse of power and unconstitutionality and cited the BNI boss for what he described as unreasonableness, capriciousness and arbitrariness.
An affidavit of response from the accused persons argues that there was nothing unconstitutional about the seizure of the said passports.
It stated that “what the Internal Security Agency did was in accordance with the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution, in that the Security Agencies are permitted to restrict one’s movement to ensure that subjects of criminal investigations such as the Applicant appeared before the Agencies to continue with proceedings preliminary to trial”.
The response alleged that intelligence information gathered by the Internal Security Agency suggests that Osei-Adjei harbors an intention to abscond and that this is evident by his “craving and pleading to be given his passport at a time he is aware that he is being investigated”.
Credit: Halifax Ansah-Addo (Daily Guide)
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