The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame has recommended more than GH¢1.2 million as compensation to victims of Ejura shooting which occurred on June 29, 2021.
This was contained in a letter addressed to the Minister of the Interior which was made available to the Ghanaian Times by our dependable source.
The source disclosed that, the Office of the Attorney-General had already given his recommendations contrary to victims’ concerns of delay in payment of compensation.
The compensation was to cover for medical bills, hospital stays, surgeries and lab tests and loss of future earnings among others.
Mr Louis Ayikpa, 30, Mr NanzifNuhu, 20, and Master MesbawuAwal, 16, made claims for various sums from the state to make up for losses due to injuries suffered and other damages, but the Attorney-General upon evaluation of the claims recommended different compensations to each of them.
According to the source, Mr Dame recommended that GH¢347,953.00 be paid to Mr Ayikpa as compensation, GH¢ 192,425.00 be paid to Mr Nuhu as compensation and GH¢678,519.00 be paid to Mr Mesbawu.
In addition, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice advised that the victims should be offered psychological evaluation and be given appropriate psychosocial support pursuant to the recommendations of the Medical Board established to look into the matter.
“They should be appropriately rehabilitated, trained and/or retrained as per injuries sustained to enable them integrate socio-economically into the society”, Mr Dame recommended.
In the case of Mr Mesbawu, the Attorney-General said the appropriate functional prosthesis should be provided him to assist in mobilisation; and they should be followed up medically for a minimum of two years to manage any long-term complications that may arise.
In making his recommendations, the Attorney-General noted that compensation for personal injury is categorised under two elements; pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses.
The Attorney-General said that for the non-pecuniary losses, the principle applied by the courts was to adopt a comparative basis for the award of any compensation, such that similar compensation was awarded for similar types of injury.
“In arriving at a sum payable for the non-pecuniary losses of the victims of the Ejura incident, we shall therefore briefly consider some decided cases and the awards that were made for the injuries of the individuals in those cases,” he said.
Lawyers for Mr Ayikpa and Mr Nuhu made claims for reimbursement of cost of hospital stays, medical bills and medical treatments (including surgery and lab tests, costs of related at-home or nursing home caretaking, transportation connected with medical treatment, increase in living expenses, and loss of future earning potential.
The others were ongoing medical care needs, permanent physical disability or impairment, disruption to education, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and lower quality of life.
In computing of compensation, the Attorney-General took into consideration the victims heads of claim and the claims made.
He said from the final medical report, Louis Ayikpa, 20 years, was referred to the KomfoAnokye Teaching Hospital from the Ejura Government Hospital on 29 June, 2021 on account of gunshot injury to the abdomen.
The Attorney-General said that clinical assessment showed that there was a full penetrating wound about 1.0 cm located in the right iliac fossa and also a 3.0 cm wound on the right flank.
“There was mild tenderness in the lower abdomen. Bowel sounds were present and normal. The musculoskeletal system was grossly intact and all other systems were normal,” he added.
The report said he received surgery on July 1, 2021 and was discharged on July 12, 2021, thus spending 2 weeks on admission.
On assessment in March, 2022, the Medical Board concluded that Louis Ayikpa had developed chronic abdominal pain, constipation and hypertrophic scar on the abdominal wall. Incapacitation was assessed at 35 per cent and disfigurement at20 per cent.
Mr Dame said Mr Ayikpa has provided receipts of GH¢53,670.00 for medications purchased, however, several issues arise as to the credibility of the receipts submitted.
He said fifteen receipts were submitted from two pharmaceutical vendors, 10 from Scab Pharmacy and five from an unidentified over-the-counter-medicines seller (OTCMS), spanning a period from June 2021 to March 2022.
He said even though the dates on the receipts of both vendors are weeks and months apart, the serial numbers on the receipts follow sequentially.
“For instance, the receipt from Scab Pharmacy with serial number 6197 is dated 13/7/21 whiles that with serial number 6196 is dated 27/7/21; the dates are two weeks apart even though the receipt numbers follow in sequence.
“Additionally, the handwriting on all the receipts from the two vendors appear to be from the same person. These observations weaken the credibility of the receipts considering the time span of over 9 months that they relate to.
Furthermore, the 15 prescriptions for which the receipts were made out for are for the same drugs at the same doses and durations. It is very doubtful that a health professional would prescribe the same antibiotics contained in the prescriptions at the stated dosages bi-weekly or monthly continuously for a period of about 10 months,” he stated.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA