Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ghanaian’s case put off to tomorrow

THE court matter to determine whether the detention of Ghanaian national Musah Ibrahim at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) is legal—which was sche­duled to be held yesterday—has been adjourned to tomorr­ow.

On Friday, Justice Vashiest Kokaram granted a writ of habeas corpus directing the Chief Immigration Officer to appear at 1 p.m. in Court Room POS20 at the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, and explain why Ibrahim is being detained at the IDC in Aripo. The writ ordered Ibrahim be brought to court.

According to an application filed by attorney Richard Isaac, Ibrahim entered this country illegally in May 2009.

On September 18, 2010, Ibrahim married Trinidadian national Ashley Prescod at the Real Street Masjid in San Juan. On April 4, 2011, Ashley gave birth to the couple’s son, Jamal Musah Ibrahim.

In the “early part of 2013”, the couple decided to take steps to regularise Ibrahim’s immigration status in Trinidad and Tobago.

They received a letter on March 5, 2013, from then national security minister Jack Warner, acknowledging the application for Ibrahim to travel to a neighbouring Caricom country and re-enter this country to pursue his resident application.

On April 2, 2013, the couple visited the Immigration Division and were told to leave the country and return in order to start his permanent residency.

The next day, while attempting to embark on a boat to Venezuela with his son, Ibrahim was arrested by Immigration officers.

On April 23, 2013, he appeared before a Port of Spain magistrate and was fined $5,000 for illegal entry into the country. The fine was paid.

On June 12, 2013, Ibrahim was issued an Immigration form entitled: “Order to Show Cause and Notice of Hearing in Deportation Proceedings”.

On August 26, 2013, after a special enquiry, Ibrahim was ordered deported and detained at the IDC. He has been there since.

Ibrahim alleges he was beaten on July 22, 2014, and suffered a cracked skull. Copies of photographs showing Ibrahim lying on the ground covered in blood from a wound to the head were submitted in support of the application.

In her affidavit, Prescod said her husband has been denied access to medical care and she is frightened for his life and health.

She said Ibrahim was now isolated from the rest of the inmates at the IDC.

The matter has been adjourned to 10 a.m. tomorrow.