Prisoner’s Corpse seized for one year over outstanding medical bills

The body of a prisoner at the Ho Central Prison, who died more than a year ago is still at the Ho Municipal Hospital Mortuary because his outstanding medical bills have not been settled.

His family cannot be traced, and as a result of the GH¢1,800 debt, the hospital is unwilling to issue a death certificate to facilitate the burial of the corpse.

The Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) in-charge of the Volta Region, Victor Agbelengor, who confirmed the story to the Ghanaian Times, said that the convict, Bismark Acheampong, 22, who was serving an 18-year jail term, fell ill and was receiving treatment at the hospital.

According to DDP Agbelengor, the prisoner suddenly collapsed and died at the prison yard on August 23, 2017, and all efforts to trace his relative had proved futile.

Meanwhile, the Ho Municipal Police Command has sent dispensation forms of the deceased and the burial permit to the Ho Municipal Assembly, asking for assistance in securing space for a grave and the necessary logistics for the burial.

When contacted, the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. John Nelson Akorli, said that the necessary action would be taken for the burial to take place without any further delay.

An inquest form from the police to the coroner on July 10, 2018, stated that the exact cause of the prisoner’s death was not known, and that no one was likely to be charged in connection with his death.

Attempts by the Ghanaian Times to contact the hospital authorities for their comment did not succeed.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO

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