An Indian businessman, Ashok Kumar Sivaram, who was deported from Ghana on June 1, 2017, upon a directive from the Interior Minister Ambrose Dery to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has filed a suit in court to demand redress.
The plaintiff in the suit named the Interior Minister and Kwame Takyi and the Comptroller of the GIS as the 1st and 2nd respondent respectively. The plaintiff in the application filed at the High Court, claims the repatriation order is without any basis.
In a 34 paragraph affidavit supporting an application for judicial review in the nature of certiorari, the Applicant is praying the Honourable Court as follows;
i. That the Deportation Order dated 15th May, 2017 be quashed by this Honourable Court.
ii.That the Respondents be Ordered to immediately facilitate the return of the Applicant into the jurisdiction to conduct his business.
iii.That the Respondents be Ordered to restore the Applicant’s Work/Residence Permit to him forthwith.
iv.Cost including legal fees.
v.Any other Order(s) as the Court deem fit.
On 24th January, 2017, the other 50% Shareholder/Director of Jai Mai Communications Limited commenced an action in the High Court, Commercial Division to among others pray the Court for the Company to be valued so that he is bought out of the Company by the Applicant.
On 5th May, 2017 the High Court, Commercial Division presided over by His Lordship Justice Kyei Baffour accordingly appointed Messrs Ernst & Young to audit Jai Mai Communications Limited to pave way for the purpose of the buyout.
The Applicant informs Counsel that subsequent to the Orders of the High Court for the valuation of the Company, the other Indian Director/50% Shareholder, Sanchin Nambeear, threatened to ensure his deportation from Ghana. Subsequent events have shown that the Applicant was arrested in his office on 1st June, 2017 by officers of the Ghana Immigration Service and on the same morning of June 1, 2017, the Applicant was deported from Ghana to India under a Deportation Order signed by the Minister for Interior.
The decision of the Minister which is the subject matter of the Court case is captured in the followings words;
“DEPORTATION ORDER – ASHOK KUMAR SIVARAM
WHEREAS Ashok Kumar Sivaram acquired and submitted a forged Marriage Certificate in Support of his application for Citizenship by Registration as a Ghanaian in 2015.
WHEREAS this act is fraudulent and criminal.
WHEREAS in the opinion of the Minister for the Interior, the continued presence in Ghana of Ashok Kumar Sivaram is not conducive to the public good.
AND THEREFORE in exercise of the power conferred on the Minister for the Interior by Section 36(1) of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573), this order is made this 15th May, 2017.
ASHOK KUMAR SIVARAM is hereby ordered to leave Ghana by Friday 19th May, 2017 and thereafter remain out of Ghana.
DATED AT ACCRA 15TH DAY OF MAY, 2017.
MINISTER FOR THE INTERIOR”
It is the Applicant’s case that he has not forged any marriage certificate to support his application for citizenship as a Ghanaian.
It is further the Applicant’s case that no Court in Ghana or elsewhere has convicted him of forging a marriage certificate or of any fraudulent criminal conduct. Thus, the Minister for Interior exceeded his jurisdiction by making a judicial determination of forgery against him when as a matter of law, the jurisdiction to determine crime is a matter reserved for only the Courts of Ghana.
The Applicant further submits that by the Minister’s conduct, he has made himself an investigator, prosecutor and an adjudicator.
The Applicant further submits that he was deported from Ghana on the said morning of 1st June 2017 without any notice to him or being offered the opportunity to be heard on the allegation of forgery leveled against him. The Minister for Interior carried out this operation without regard to the presence of the his business interest in Ghana that employs one hundred and sixty (160) people out of which one hundred and thirty (130) are Ghanaians and thirty (30) are Expatriates. Again, no regard or consideration was given by the Minister inspite of the pendency of the case in the High Court, Commercial Division and the Order for a valuation process to be undertaken by Ernst & Young to enable the Court proceed with the matter pending before it.
It is the case of the Applicant before the Court that he has no criminal record in Ghana and has been in Ghana conducting his lawful business since the year 2000. It is further the Applicant’s case that he was not in Ghana on the basis of any alleged fraudulent marriage certificate and that he was in Ghana on a Residence/Work Permit which had not expired.
It is the Applicant’s conviction that the decision of the Minister for Interior to cancel his Residence/Work Permit and subsequently deport him from Ghana without being heard on the merits of any allegation against him violated his right to fair hearing as provided for by law.
The Applicant further submits that since his deportation the other Director/50% Shareholder has prepared a purported Board of Directors Resolution without his consent and is using his absence from Ghana to make himself the sole signatory of the Company’s bank accounts in order to withdraw the company funds. It is the Applicant’s prayer that the Court grants his relief.
Court hearing is set for Friday, 21st July, 2017.