04 August 2017

Court orders release of detained Indian businessman

An Accra High court has ordered the release of Ashok Kumar Sivaram, an Indian businessman who has been detained unlawfully by the Ghana Immigration Service.

The Court has also instructed the Immigration Service to regularize the stay of Ashok Kumar Sivaram in Ghana if the service fails to charge him for any wrong doing, Joy News’ Joseph Ackah Blay reported.

The Indian businessman was detained Wednesday afternoon when he touched down at the Kotoka International Airport.

His lawyer, Gary Nimako has said, his client had been detained illegally and every attempt to secure his release has failed.

The business man sued the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery and the head of Immigration Service for illegally deporting him out of the country.

In the deportation order, Sivaram was accused of acquiring a “forged marriage certificate in support of his application for citizenship in Ghana.”

He was bundled out of the country on June 1, 2017 and has since been fighting his deportation through his lawyer who is based in Ghana.

An Accra High Court in a ruling on July 31, stated Kumar Sivaram was illegally deported out of the country and ordered the two defendants to ensure his safe return to Ghana.

The ruling notwithstanding, the businessman has been in detention for more than 48 hours after he returned to Ghana.

There were attempts to deport him for the second time, Myjoyonline.com has heard.

But his lawyer, Gary Nimako who has described as surprising the action by the Interior Ministry, has vowed to resist the seeming lawlessness being perpetrated.

He returned to court to secure an order for the release of Ashok Kumar Sivaram.

Lawyers for the Immigration Service defended the arrest of the businessman saying he did not have a visa when he arrived at the airport.

But Joy News’ Joseph Ackah Blay who was in court reported Gary Nimako as saying, the claims by the defendants were inaccurate.

According to him, his client had, per the July 31 court ruling, the authority to return to Ghana without a visa. He was quick to add that if at all he needed a visa, he could acquire one on arrival at the airport, something the Immigration Officers prevented him from doing.

He, therefore, described as illegal the detention of his client and prayed the court to order his release.

The court agreed and instructed the Interior Minister and the Immigration Service to release the businessman. 

The Interior Minister was not in court when the ruling was given.

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