Western Regional Supervising High Court Judge, Justice Edward Asante, is advocating the amendment of the Data Protection Act to allow acquisition of personal information about suspects from banks and other entities without a court order, in order to speed up investigations and prosecutions.
According to him, the current data protection law inhibits investigators from acquiring from financial institutions, personal data of suspects until they secure a court order.
In an exclusive interview with Class News’ Jerry Akornor, after the Pharmaceutical Crime Conference by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in Accra on Thursday, 3 May 2018, Justice Asante said going through the court process may delay investigations and “certain information may even be deleted through the backdoor and all that, so, the person may run away”.
He wants the law amended to give power to “certain senior officers of investigative agencies like EOCO and even senior DCOPs or ACPs in the Police Service, CHRAJ and all that, upon request, immediately be given those information by the agencies that are holding information about people who they need to, as a matter of agency, investigate”.
He said junior officers of investigative bodies should not be given such power if the law is amended as they will abuse the authority given them. “A police sergeant or whoever can go there and take information for his personal matters which may not be an official investigation which is being conducted”.