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Cocaine Turns Baking Powder; Tehoda Floors Police

DSP Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda in tears after the proceedings
An Accra Human Rights Court has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to reinstate DSP Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda, a former senior officer of the Ghana Police Service (GPS), who was dismissed five years ago.
The court, presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei-Addo, held that the police officer must be given all her allowances, promotions and benefits over the period.
It follows the wrongful dismissal of the police woman in 2012 in connection with the infamous Nana Ama Martins cocaine-turned baking soda saga.
DSP Tehoda was linked to the disappearance of the cocaine and she was interdicted and subsequently dismissed from the Police Service.
A police officer, who was also interdicted, was later recalled and promoted to a regional commander, leaving Tehoda to wallow in quandary.
But in the judgement yesterday, the court held that the 45-day detention of DSP Tehoda in the Bureau of Nation Investigation (BNI) cells was a violation of the fundamental human rights of the police officer.
According to the judge, the detention of the plaintiff was unlawful and contrary to the provisions of the 1992 Constitution, indicating that the actions of the BNI are attributable to the State.
Justice Agyei-Addo awarded GH¢5,000 in general damages against the state for the unlawful detention.
Touching on the dismissal of the police woman, the court posited that the right of the plaintiff to be heard was breached.
In the view of the court, the dismissal was done in breach of the law of natural justice, insisting that the court had set aside DSP Tehoda’s dismissal from the Service, ordering the IGP to reinstate the plaintiff into the Service alongside her benefits.
Justice Agyei-Addo disclosed that dismissal is the worse form of punishment an employer could exact on its employee and accordingly awarded GH¢10,000 as general damages against the state.
The court, however, dismissed DSP Tehoda’s relief that she was maliciously tried by the state.
She said the attorney, per the constitution, has legal authority to prosecute her.
Livingston Ameeyivor, lawyer for DSP Tehoda, urged the court to award a cost of GH¢10,000 cost against the defendants because in his view, the case had travelled for five years and that the police officer had gone through a lot of difficulties.
The trial judge awarded GH¢8,000 against the defendants.
The court had granted an application by lawyers of the embattled former police chief to adopt proceedings and the addresses in the court of the now dismissed High Court judge, Justice Kofi Essel Mensah.
The case involving DSP Tehoda began in September 2011 when Nana Ama Martins was arrested for possessing large parcels containing a substance suspected to be cocaine, which later mysteriously turned into bicarbonate or baking soda.
However, an Accra Circuit Court consequently acquitted and discharged her of any criminality.
DSP Tehoda sued the Police Service for wrongful dismissal.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
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