Site icon Asaase Radio

Police secure injunction against demonstration by Democracy Hub, two others

The Ghana Police Service (GPS) has secured an injunction at the High Court stopping three pressure groups, Democracy Hub, Patriotic Hub, and Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance, from going ahead with their plans to protest at the same time, and venue but with different objectives.

The application was filed at the High Court to prohibit the three groups from carrying out their three separate demonstrations between 1 December 2023 and 5 January 2024. The application followed a disagreement over the postponement of the protest and change of venue from the forefront or around the Jubilee House as proposed by the police high command.

A statement signed by Superintendent of Police Juliana Obeng, head of the public affairs unit, Greater Accra, on Sunday 19 November, said the police had successfully served the various organizers with the court process and that the application was set to be heard on Tuesday, 21 November 2023.

When Justice Lydia Osei Marfo’s court constituted on Tuesday, the three defendants (Democracy Hub, Patriotic Hub, and Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance), had not filed any affidavit in opposition to the police application. The court subsequently adjourned the sitting to Wednesday, 22 November 2023, to allow the required three-day window to elapse since the defendants were served with the court processes on Thursday, 16 November 2023.

Contention of the Police

Police prosecutor and Superintendent of Police, Sylvester Asare, when the court reconstituted on Wednesday, 22 November 2023, moved the motion of the police service in the absence of representation for the three defendants after the presiding judge granted him permission to do same.

Superintendent Sylvester Asare argued that the proposed location for the planned demonstration by the respondents is a security installation and should an event such as a demonstration be allowed to take place there, it may compromise the security installation.

He also pointed out that the proposed time frame for the demonstration as put forth by the three groups (1 December 2023 through to 5 January 2023) coincides with the Christmas and New Year seasons.

During the yuletide, several activities have been lined up that will require police presence and protection, and, a demonstration by multiple groups during this period will certainly overwhelm the police. To this end, Superintendent Sylvester Asare prayed the court to stop the three groups from protesting until the yuletide was over.

By Court

Justice Lydia Osei Marfo’s court after listening to the argument of the police observed that “as of today, 22 November 2023, the respondents, Benjamin Akufo Darko, (Democracy Hub), Denis Appiah Larbi, (Patriotic Hub), Kwame Baffoe – Abronye, (Patriotic Forum For Accountable Governance) together with their lawyers were absent and have not filed any affidavit in opposition”.

“I have perused the application filed together with its attachments and I have listened to counsel for the applicant. It is in the interest of Justice that an order should be made restraining or prohibiting the respondents from holding an intended protest or procession from December 1 to 31 2023 and January 1& 5, 2024 at the intended designation” Justice Lydia Osei Marfo ruled.

“The order is hereby granted as prayed for by the applicant and they are restrained from holding any special event anywhere or around the said venue. It is further ordered that should the respondents or any of the persons affiliated to them intend to organize this special event from 5 January 2024, they should find a different location other than the forecourt of the jubilee house said to be a security installation” the court further ordered.

Background

On 11 October 2023, the Greater Accra Regional Police Command received a notice to embark on a demonstration signed by Benjamin Akufo Darko (the “1st Notice”) for and on behalf of a group named “Democracy Hub”.

The first notice was to the effect that the Democracy Hub would embark on a demonstration, picketing at the forefront of the Jubilee House from 0600 hours on 1 December 2023, until 2200 hours on 31 December 2023, to demand the resignation of the President of the Republic of Ghana or his impeachment by Parliament.

On 12 October 2023, the Police Command received another notice to embark on a demonstration signed by Denis Appiah Larbi (the “2nd Notice”) for and on behalf of a group by the name, “Patriotic Hub”.

The second notice was to the effect that the Patriotic Hub would embark on a demonstration, picketing at the forefront of the Jubilee House, every 24 hours from 1 December to 31 December 2023, to call for improved living conditions for the citizenry.

Whilst the police assessment of the two preceding notifications was ongoing, the Police Command, on 23 October 2023, received another notice to embark on a demonstration, signed by Kwame Baffoe Abronye (the “3rd Notice”) for and on behalf of a group by name, “Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance”.

The third notice was to the effect that the Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance would embark on a procession at the forefront of the Jubilee House from 0800 hours to 1900 hours each day from 1 December 2023 to 5 January 2024, to express their heartfelt appreciation to the President of Ghana, for sustaining the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic and setting the nation on a path of economic recovery.

Police Command undertook a security threat assessment of the proposed common destination, overlapping timelines, and conflicting objectives for the three planned demonstrations.

Per the assessment, it was determined that the three special events, if held around or at the forefront of the Jubilee House, and at the given timelines, especially around the Christmas and New Year Festivities, may endanger public safety, public defence, public order, the running and delivery of essential services and violate the rights and freedoms of other persons among others.

The Police Command engaged the organizers for the three groups and conveyed the security challenges and concerns to them. The Police Command also indicated its inability to provide security for the three groups to hold their respective special events lasting over 31 days due to the Command’s operational and security engagements during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The police, therefore, urged the organizers, in the interest of public safety, public defence, and public order, among others, to postpone the holding of their respective special events to any date after 5 January 2024, within which period the Command would be able to provide the demonstrators adequate security.

The organizers disagreed with the Police Command’s request to postpone the demonstrations to any date after 5 January 2024. They also disagreed with the police on the location and insisted on holding special events around or at the forefront of the Jubilee House.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

Asaase Radio 99.5 broadcasts on radio via 99.5 in Accra, 98.5 in Kumasi, 99.7 in Tamale, 100.3 in Cape Coast and on our affiliates Bawku FM 101.5 in Bawku, Beats FM 99.9 in Bimbilla, Somua FM 89.9 in Gushegu, Stone City 90.7 in Ho, Mining City 89.5 in Tarkwa and Wale FM 106.9 in Walewale
Tune in to broadcasts 
online: asaaseradio.com, Sound Garden and TuneIn
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995
Live streaming on facebook.com/asaase99.5. Also on YouTube: 
AsaaseXtra.
Join the conversation. Call: 020 000 9951 or 059 415 7777. Or WhatsApp: 020 000 0995.

#Asaase321
#TheVoiceofOurLand

#WeAreHere
#WeLoveOurLand
#SafeMotorway4All

Exit mobile version