Ghana's prison conditions
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A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has underscored the need to improve conditions in Ghana’s prisons.

According to him, the prevailing conditions in the country’s prisons leave much to be desired.

“Our prison conditions are terrible, and I am surprised politicians from left, right and centre are not doing anything about it because they are the people who will soon go there,” Mr Kpebu said.

Mr Martin Kpebu, 2nd from left, speking on the Key Points

He made the comment while discussing the possibility of the convicted Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Tamakloe, being extradited from the US to serve her sentence in Ghana.

Mr Kpebu contended that the poor conditions in Ghana’s prisons is enough grounds for any quest to have her extradited to fail.

“At the UN level, they’ve discussed it. There are several reports that go against us in respect of our prison conditions, overcrowding etc. Yes, that is law. You can’t subject people to so much inhuman conditions. The fact that they’ve committed crime does not mean that apart from serving the term, you should subject them to inhuman conditions. Article 15 of our Constitution is against that,” he emphasized.

Ghana's prison conditions
File photo: Prison inmates sleeping.

Madam Tamakloe was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for causing financial loss of GHC90 million to the state.  The former Operations Manager of the organisation, Daniel Axim, who is an accomplice, was also handed a five-years jail term.

The jailing of Madam Tamakloe was done in absentia as she sought permission from the court to travel to the US for medical treatment.

Full Judgement: MASLOC CEO jailed 10 years

After the ruling, the Deputy Attorney-General, Alfred Tua-Yeboah said the state has commenced procedures to extradite the former MASLOC boss to Ghana to serve the sentence.

“We’ve started the processes and with this judgement, that is going to speed up the process. In Ghana we have various clauses, you can choose to just stay, but so far we have laws regulating how you can be extradited from one country to Ghana if there is a judgement like this one. Rest assured, she would be brought down and face justice,” he explained.

But Speaking on the jailing of Sedina Tamakloe on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 on Tuesday, April 16 Mr Kpebu said “The main challenge we may face is prison conditions. INTERPOL will do their bit so that they will spread it all over the world, all the police agencies of all the countries in the world asking for her to be extradited to Ghana.

But one of the key things we will be facing is the prison conditions in Ghana, because I am aware in the past certain countries have refused to extradite persons to Ghana because of our very inhuman prison conditions, so that is the biggest challenge we will have when it comes to extradition, but a lot of countries do extradite persons back to Ghana.”

Kpebu highlights challenge Ghana is likely to face in attempt to extradite jailed EX-CEO of MASLOC Sedina Tamakloe


Meanwhile, another private legal practitioner, Kingsley Amoako-Boadu, has said that it will be unrealistic for anyone to assume that conditions in Ghana’s prisons could be improved to a level comparable to that of the US.

According to him, such an expectation is farfetched.

“If any court is going to use the conditions of our prisons to deprive anyone from being extradited, we should also look at the context in which Ghana is situated and say that this is the Ghanaian kind of prison.

So, you cannot say that you want it, because there are prisons there [in the US] that is one in a room with TV and what not. We cannot say that where Ghana has reached now, we should elevate our prisons to that. So, if we don’t meet that, the person should not be extradited. I think it should be on case-by-case basis,” he said.

Kingsley Amoako-Boadu

Lawyer Amoako-Boadu, who is a member of the Communication Team of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said this in reaction to Mr Kpebu’s assertion.