Two years on: Ghanaian in Trinidad jail finally released after Akufo-Addo’s intervention


The national security minister of Trinidad Stuart Young has ordered the release of the Ghanaian man jailed for immigration problems for almost two years.

Samuel Asante has been at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) since 2017. During a state visit in June, Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo secured his release and two Nigerians from a Trinidad jail after meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley. can confirm that the national security minister over the weekend issued a ministerial permit allowing Asante to be released from the detention centre.

The Ghanaian has also agreed to withdraw his lawsuit against the government of Trinidad. According to local media, costs will be assessed to make the needed compensation if any.

His attorneys Gerald Ramdeen, Umesh Maharaj and Dayadai Harripaul argued on Thursday that Asante was being unlawfully detained since no steps were taken by the Immigration Division to have him sent back to Ghana and that the Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) had no power to detain him for an unreasonable period until that happened.

The Ghanian has been at the IDC since 2017 and was expected to be deported on January 28, 2018.

He registered as an asylum seeker with the UN Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in October 2018, and that was refused on March 22 this year, according to court documents filed in support of his application for his freedom.

However, attorney Andre Cole who represented the CIO, argued that Asante’s detention was justified since there was a deportation order for him in effect and he was considered to be someone not permitted entry into TT. Cole argued that it was Asante who frustrated attempts to have him deported when he refused to leave the IDC after airline tickets were purchased to send him back to Ghana on June 17, 2018.

But this was rejected by the judge, who said he could not accept the argument that the State was being frustrated by someone who had been ordered to be deported. Rahim said an alleged illegal immigrant’s consent, or lack thereof, had nothing to do with the division’s duty to remove the individual from the country under a deportation order.

At a joint-media briefing with Akufo-Addo, the Prime Minister said Africans at the IDC would be allowed to register once there were no criminal matters against them. Rowley said there were a few Nigerians at the IDC who were there for quite some time and only one Ghanaian.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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