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MP for Madina initiates bill to secure fair compensation for wrongful arrests and convictions

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Member of Parliament for Madina and Human Rights Lawyer, Francis Xavier-Sosu, has initiated moves for the passage of a law that will ensure the payment of the right compensation to persons who are unlawfully arrested, detained, or convicted.

The MP’s move, initiated under the Private Member’s Bill, will among other things give effect to clauses (5) and (7) of Article 14 of the 1992 Constitution.

Speaking on “Behind the News”, the Legislator expressed concern that there are no laid down rules that cater for people who have been wrongfully arrested, detained, and or convicted when they get the opportunity to seek redress for the wrongs done to them by the state.

This, he said, is in sharp contrast with the laid down penalty units provided for by law which prescribes the amount to be paid as a fine whenever a crime is committed.

Mr. Sosu wants the Act to provide a formula for calculating compensation units on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis, and provide the circumstances under which a particular compensation must apply as against the already defined areas of compensation.

Citing several court rulings, Mr. Sosu indicated that the situation has given rise to compensations often left at the discretion of the Court or Judge, which he believes is unsatisfactory as compared to the kind of wrong suffered by the person due to the wrongful act committed by actors of state agencies.

He expressed optimism the Act will not only eliminate suspicion and give way to concrete evidence, but will also sanitize and avoid needless detentions and abuse.

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