The case involving three hospital workers standing trial for thefts of government drugs in the Upper East Region has been adjourned to Wednesday, 18 October 2023.
The Circuit Court in the region’s capital, Bolgatanga, suspended proceedings on Monday, 18 September 2023.
It took the decision because the docket of the case, which was reportedly demanded weeks earlier from police prosecutors by the Attorney-General’s department in the region for advice, had not been returned to the court.
When contacted after the court adjourned the case, the region’s Chief State Attorney, Joyce Debrah, confirmed to Media Without Borders that the docket was in her office.
The three hospital’s employees— a drug storekeeper, Fasilat Raheem, an assistant dispensary officer, Bridget Banoeyelle, and a driver, Raymond Asoke— are being prosecuted for stealing, abetment of stealing and conspiracy.
Thirty-four boxes of assorted medicines stolen from the hospital were retrieved from the accused persons when Media Without Borders’ Edward Adeti, at the last phase of his investigation into thefts of drugs at the hospital, led a police team from the Divisional Police Headquarters in Bolgatanga to effect their arrests in August, 2023.
All three workers have also been placed on interdiction, according to the hospital’s Administrator, Samuel Atuba.
The stolen boxes of drugs were always kept inside a near-abandoned structure at Bukere, a suburb of Bolgatanga, before they were transported to the Northern Region’s capital, Tamale, for resale.
It took about a year to investigate the thefts following public complaints that patients were dying at the hospital as a result of rampant drug shortages.
And it took months before Adeti gained access into the building where the stolen drugs were always hidden.
The drugs are regular supplies from the Ministry of Health (MoH) and they come with a written warning on the boxes that they are not for sale.
Government prosecutors say the accused persons have refused to mention the names of the agents who have been buying the stolen medicines from them.
Source: Media Without Borders/mwbonline.org