Ghanaian think tank condemns deportation of Indian businessman

ACCRA, Ghana (IANS) A think tank here — Imani Ghana — has described the deportation of the Indian businessman, Ashok Sivaram Kumar as “harsh” adding that the process had not been properly handled.

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) on March 11 repatriated Kumar.

The businessman was sent back to India on the grounds that his his work and residence permits had expired, following a Supreme Court decision which reversed an earlier High Court order that had quashed a deportation order served on Kumar by the minister of the interior.

The order was contained in a ‘Notice to Leave’ order dated March 9, 2018, signed by the deputy controller of the GIS, Laud Afrifah. Kumar was informed that his permit to reside in Ghana had expired and he was asked to leave the country “within 48 hours”.

Imani said, “the man must be a very important businessman to attract the attention of the minister in the way he did,” adding that such acts may affect the country’s attempt to attract foreign investment into the country.

The workers of his company have also given the government a week’s notice to return Kumar to Ghana or they would demonstrate at the Immigration Service’s premises. They showed copies of Kumar’s passport and work permits to newspersons which, they said, had not expired.

Kumar has spent almost a year to fight his deportation until the Supreme Court’s ruling last week after which he was whisked out of the country by the GIS. The unanimous Supreme Court’s decision said the High Court had no legal standing to quash the order because Kumar had failed to exhaust all administrative processes, including petitioning the minister of the interior within seven days after his residence and work permits were revoked, before going to court as stipulated by Section 46 of the Immigration Act (200), (Act 573).

The GIS has in a statement justified its action on Kumar because it believes his “continuous stay in the country was inimical to the security of the country”.

Kumar was accused by the GIS of using a fake marriage certificate to support his application for permanent residence permit and this had led to his repatriation in June last year following an order issued by the Minister of the Interior in May 2017.

On Wednesday, one of the workers who refused to speak on record told IANS: “As a nation, we are crying for investors to come and create businesses, but if this is how we will treat them, where will the jobs come from.”

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