Ex-Convict Heads Chieftaincy Ministry?

When the Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Mr Kofi Dzamesi, was nominated, vetted by Parliament, and approved by consensus, he had one thing in mind – to transform the chieftaincy institution in the country.

But what he did not know is that the Acting Director at the ministry, who is to help him prosecute the agenda, Constant Gladzah, is an ex-convict, having been found guilty of stealing tyres in 2015.

The Civil Service Law 1993, PNDC Law 327 Section 76 (2), under general misconduct states, “For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the conviction of a Civil Servant for any offence involving fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude, tends to bring the Civil Service into disrepute.”

The Chronicle is, however, unable to determine whether, after being found guilty of stealing, but was spared a custodial sentence, Constant Gladzah still qualifies to work as the Acting Director at the ministry.Constant

Gladzah, according to The Chronicle sources, was working at the Ministry of Information, and after departmental transfers, was sent to the Chieftaincy Ministry to act as Director. Soon after his transfer, it emerged that some tyres had gone missing.

He was subsequently arrested and charged before court, where he pleaded guilty to the offence.

On May 22, 2015, an Accra High Court, presided over by Alhaji Justice Adbullah Iddrisu, found Constant Gladzah guilty of the offence, based on his own plea.

The judgement reads: “the accused person was convicted on the 19th of May, 2015 on his own plea of guilty, and the sentencing was deferred to 21st May 2015, but the court did not sit due to the industrial strike by JUSAG.

“Counsel for the convict, in praying for mitigation, stated that the defence and prosecution have agreed to come under section 35 of the Courts Act, so as to avoid custodial sentence, and prayed for restitution, or for the damage that has been caused to the state. That the accused is a first offender who is not known to the court.

“The prosecution, on the other hand, is not opposed to the prayer of the convict that this matter should be treated under section 35 of the Courts Act of 1993, this is so, because the funds involved are public funds, and since the convict has not wasted the court’s time, the court could consider the convict’s prayer.

“Section 35 of Act 459, that is the Courts Act, provides (1) where a person is charged with an offence before the High Court or Regional Tribunal, the commission of which has caused economic loss, harm or damage to the state or state agency, the accused may inform the prosecutor whether the accused admits the offence and is willing to offer compensation, or make restitution and reparation for the loss, harm or damage caused.

(2) where the accused makes an offer of compensation or restitution and reparation, the prosecutor shall consider if the offer is acceptable to the prosecution.

(3) If the offer is acceptable to the prosecution, the prosecution shall, in the presence of the accused, inform the court, which shall consider if the offer of compensation or restitution and reparation is satisfactory.

“In the instant case, the prosecution submits that the 44 tyres that were taken away by the accused convict have been returned and are in the custody of EOCO. In effect, the damage done to the state has been repaired.

“The convict is a first-time offender who is not known to the court, he showed remorse when he appeared before the court, the prosecution has also accepted his offer, and has not shown any dissatisfaction of the offer, the punishment should, therefore, not be retributive in nature.

“In the circumstances, therefore, the accused/convict is sentenced to a fine of 200 penalty units or in default 2 years imprisonment. He shall pay to the state the sum of GH¢800 as compensation.

The tyres, which are in the custody of EOCO, should be released to the beneficiary state agencies involved.”