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Ghana's (in)Justice

Maxine Selassie was rudely awakened just hours before dawn when the police banged in her door based on a tip that a drug cartel was operating out of a cluster of homes in the area.  Being well educated and versed in her rights Maxine resisted the intrusion and stood her ground.  Since they were not able to find her husband, whom they claim to be the head of this cartel, they arrested Mrs. Selassie and took her to prison where they held her for 6 wicked weeks. 

Maxine Selassie, 54, has lived in Ghana for 10 years, built a home here for her family and worked at the number one school in Ghana, Ghana International School,  for the past 6 years, maintaining a flawless repute. Nevertheless, the Daily Guide wasted no time in printing her face on the front page, modified in photoshop, showing her with large quantities of herb in the background, stating that she, along with her accomplices were arraigned before the courts for allegedly dealing in narcotics.  Of course, no consideration was made for consequences of such slander. However, despite the smear campaign she was supported by her employer, legally and morally and her character, though attacked, remained in tact thanks to her record. 

In light of the fact that the police were really after her husband and proved determined to keep Mrs. Selassie for ransom, whether legally or otherwise, her husband, Joseph Selassie turned himself in and is fighting the charges from behind bars.  The prosecution literally stated that “the owner of the substance has admitted and we are before you to pray for the discharge of A1 (first accused person).”  Thus the prosecution knowingly charged an innocent woman with the sole intent of baiting her husband, the police detained her and the Daily Guide discredited her.  Once declared innocent Mrs. Selassie was able to convince the Daily Guide to retract their words, but the damage had been done and she had already spent 6 weeks in the hell hole that is Ghana's prison.  Even after being vindicated by the courts her personal property, inclusive of, but not limited to her vehicle has yet to be restored.   Fortunately her employer did not buckle, instead they reserved her position, allowing her time to recuperate before resuming her work.

This case reveals a very dark, murky truth about Ghana's justice system, their disregard for human rights and the unchecked powers of police.  Though we have grown thick skin on account of our numerous encounters with discrimination in the West, to be dealt with so ruthlessly at the hands of our own Black government is sourly disheartening.  Fortunately Mrs. Selassie remains strong and continues to recover from the experience as she is determined to get on with her life, the more wiser.