Cocaine-turned-baking soda: DSP Tehoda reinstated, promoted to Chief Superintendent

The Police officer, who was wrongfully dismissed after she was cited in case of the cocaine exhibit that mysteriously turned into baking soda, has been reinstated and promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police.

The then DSP Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda was interdicted and subsequently dismissed from the Ghana Police Service in 2012 after she was named as an accomplice in the 44,000-dollar cocaine incident in late 2011.

After years of legal battle, the Human Rights Court in Accra on March 31, 2017 ordered the IGP to reinstate the former head of the Commercial Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service.

The court held Chief Supt. Tehoda was wrongfully dismissed from the Service, hence ordered that all entitlements, allowances and promotions due her for the past five years be paid to her.

She was awarded total damages of GH¢23,000.

A year on, highly placed sources within the Police Service have revealed exclusively to 3news.com that the police officer has been reinstated and promoted to the rank of chief superintendent.

Her reinstatement and promotion, the sources said, was done almost a month ago at a short ceremony in Accra.

The sources, however, did not say which Department within the Police Service she has been posted to.

The genesis of the case

A total of 1,020 grammes of substances that tested positive for cocaine in 2008 at Police Forensic Laboratory, later in September 2011 mysteriously turned into sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), while in the custody of the police.

This was noticed after the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) carried out a re-test of the substances.

The twist led to acquittal and discharge by an Accra Circuit Court yesterday, of a woman, Nana Ama Martins, who was standing trial for possessing the substances.

She was arrested on August 22, 2008 in a taxi cab in traffic at Roman Ridge with the substances.

The re-test of the substance was at the request of the defence team on grounds that what was retrieved from the accused was not cocaine, contrary to the result of the police test.

Although the prosecution objected to the request at the time, the Circuit Court, presided over by Mr. Eric Kyei Baffour (now a justice of the High Court) overruled the objection.

He held in the interest of justice and in accordance with an established principle by the Supreme Court, a re-test was necessary.

Consequent to the court’s ruling, The GSA in the presence of the court registrar and the investigator, conducted three different tests on the substance, all of which proved negative for cocaine.

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