Private Legal practitioner Kwame Akuffo has condemned a court in Kumasi for refusing to grant hiplife artiste Kwaw Kese accused of smoking cannabis, bail.
According to the lawyer, there is no provision in the Ghanaian constitution which forbids bail in narcotics-related offences. He, therefore, does not understand why the rapper has consistently been denied bail.
Born Emmanuel Botwe, Kwaw Kese was arrested on Saturday, November 22 by the police at Nhyiaeso in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region. He is facing charges for smoking weed.
Three attempts by the rapper to get bail have been refused by both the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Court and the Kumasi High Court. He has been remanded to the Kumasi Central Prison and will reappear in court on January 5, 2015.
Commenting on the development on Joy News, Kwame Akuffo said that the law which formed the basis for the courts’ refusal to grant Kwaw Kese bail is grounded on the New Patriotic Party’s panic amendment of the criminal code.
“There is no part of our constitution which forbids bail in narcotic offences. The reason behind some judges’ attitude towards bail is founded on some panic reaction of the NPP government in 2007 when there were all these allegations that the party was involved [in] helping people peddle drugs and therefore passed an amendment in the criminal code which said that some offences were non-bailable,” he said.
The legal practitioner stressed that, “strictly speaking, there is no part of the constitution which says that a man cannot be admitted to bail because he is charged with narcotic offences.”
He noted that, “in Kwaw Kese’s case for example, if a judge were to find him guilty of [using] a narcotic drug, the judge has the discretion to sentence him even to a day’s imprisonment and fine him on a 100 penalty point basis.”
Kwame Akuffo wondered why the rapper is still being detained, saying, “apart from burdening the taxpayer with feeding an extra prisoner, it also amounts to a complete abuse of the process.”
He explained further that per Article 296 of the Constitution, any time a person is vested with a decision that revolves around discretion, that decision ought to be “exercised judiciously, fairly and not capriciously.”
“If the man has been kept for a month and the trial has not begun, why are we keeping him in there? What do we gain? What is the benefit to society [for] keeping Kwaw Kese or any other Ghanaian citizen who has been caught smoking weed in 2014 in prison?” the legal practitioner quizzed.