Kofi Kapito threatens lawsuit over detention of Ghanaians at KIA over coronavirus test fees

General News of Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

2020-10-14

Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Protection Agency, Kofi KapitoChief Executive Officer of the Consumer Protection Agency, Kofi Kapito

Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Protection Agency, Kofi Kapito, has threatened a lawsuit against government and other agencies responsible for the testing of coronavirus at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), for detaining Ghanaian passengers due to their inability to foot their COVID-19 test bills.

According to him, authorities are abusing power as no law backs the detention of Ghanaians at the airport over non-payment of a service.

In a press release sighted by GhanaWeb, Mr Kapito said “It has come to the notice of the Consumer Protection Agency that certain Ghanaian citizens who live abroad or visited abroad and wanted to come back to Ghana, are since held at Kotoka International Airport against their will and the laws of Ghana. It is the Agency’s position that there is no law in Ghana that enjoins the Ghana authorities to hold a citizen of Ghana at the airport for non-payment of a service”.

“We by this communiqué, advice the Ghanaian authorities who are involved in this activity to desist forthwith otherwise we have no choice but to take legal action against them for abuse power.”

He, therefore, advised that KIA authorities and other agencies responsible for the COVID-19 testing to immediately halt their actions.

Some Ghanaians who flew in from outside the country and were unable to pay for the mandatory $150 COVID-19 test fee were reportedly detained.

But the Ghana Airports Company Limited explained that passengers who refused to pay the COVID-19 test upon arrival were transported by state security agencies to be quarantined at a designated location.

Read below their statement:

It has come to the notice of the Consumer Protection Agency that certain Ghanaian citizens who live abroad or visited abroad and wanted to come back to Ghana, are since held at Kotoka International Airport against their will and the laws of Ghana.

It is the Agency’s position that there is no law in Ghana that enjoins the Ghana authorities to hold a citizen of Ghana at the airport for non-payment of a service.

In fact, debtors in Ghana law are not deemed as criminals. Therefore, it is the position of the Agency, through its CEO Kofi Kapito that what is happening to those citizens of Ghana at the Airport is;

1. Unlawful.

2. Tantamount to kidnapping.

3. Infringement on the rights of freedom of movement.

4. False imprisonment.

We by this communiqué, advice the Ghanaian authorities who are involved in this activity to desist forthwith otherwise we s have no choice but to take legal action against them for abuse power (i.e. ultra vires).

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