Hearing of the application in which the Police Command is seeking an order to prohibit the holding of the special events by three different groups in December has been deferred to November 22, to satisfy requirements.
This was because, the application filed on November 16, required that the respondents be given three clear days to respond to the matter.
Per the instant application, the three clear days excluding weekends is to elapse Tuesday November 21, making it impossible for the Court to deal with the matter today.
In Court on Tuesday, November 21, the date the case was fixed for hearing, it emerged that, the three clear days timelines has not elapsed.
“Since the service of this process by the Applicant herein, we have not received any processes by way of affidavit in opposition,” Superintendent Sylvester Asare, the lawyer from the Police Legal Directorate told the Court.
He said “we also want to find out from the Court if any processes by way of affidavit in opposition.”
The High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo said, on the docket, there is a proof of service of the application on all the three respondents.
Justice Osei Marfo also said, the affidavit of service per Joseph Andoh indicates that each of them (respondents) was served on November 16, 2023.
“There is no proof of affidavit in opposition. The returned date for the application is Tuesday November 21, 2023,” the court stated.
However, the court notes that, from November 16 when the processes were served on the Respondents, the three clear days have not elapsed.
Consequently, the case was adjourned to November 22, after which the three clear days would have been satisfied.
EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah reports that, the three 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.
According to the Police, on October 11, this year, the Greater Accra Regional Police Command received a Notice to embark on demonstration from Democracy Hub.
The notice which was signed by Benjamin Akufo Darko for and on behalf of a group was to the effect that the Democracy Hub would embark on a demonstration, picketing at the forefront of the Jubilee House from 6am on the 1st of December until 10pm on 31st December, 2023.
The demonstration was to demand for the resignation of the President of the Republic of Ghana or his impeachment by Parliament.
On October 2. 2023, the Police Command again received another Notice to embark on demonstration signed by Denis Appiah Larbi (the “2nd Notice”) for and on behalf of a group by name, “Patriotic Hub”,
The 2nd Notice was to the effect that the Patriotic Hub would embark on demonstration, picketing at the forefront of the Jubilee House, every 24 hours from 1st to 31st December, 2023 in support of the progress made by Ghana and, by extension, call for improved living conditions for citizens of Ghana.
Whilst Police Assessment of the two preceding notifications were ongoing, the Police Command, on 23rd October, 2023, received another notice to embark on demonstration, signed by Kwame Baffoe Abronye (the “3rd Notice”) for and on behalf of a group by name, “Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance”.
According to the police, the 3rd 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 8am to 7pm each day from 1st December 2023 to 5th January 2024.
The objective is 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.
According to the Police Command, it undertook a security threat assessment of the proposed common destination, overlapping timelines and conflicting objectives for the three planned demonstrations.
“The Police Command, after the security assessment has reasonable grounds to believe that the three special events, if held around or at the forefront of the Jubilee House, and at the given time-lines, especially around the Christmas and New Year Festivities, may endanger public safety, public defense, public order, the running and delivery of essential services and violate the rights and freedoms of other persons among others.
“Accordingly, the Police Command engaged the organizers’ for the three groups and conveyed the security challenges and concerns with the proposed location.
“The Police Command also indicated its inability to provide security for the three groups to hold their respective special events lasting over thirty-one (31) days due to the Police Command’s operational and security engagements during the Christmas and New Year festivities,” the Police Public unit had stated.
The Police Command therefore urged the Organizers, in the interest public safety, public defense, public order, among others, to postpone the holding of their respective special events to any date after 5th January 2024 within which period the Command will be better able to provide the demonstrators with adequate security. The Police also advised that they sought different locations to hold their respective demonstrations.
The Organizers on the other hand disagreed with the Police Command’s request to postpone the special events to any date after 5th January, 2024. They also disagreed with the Police on the location and insisted on holding the special events around or at the forefront of the Jubilee House.
It said, “Considering the disagreement on the matter, and the worrisome situation of there being three different groups intending to demonstrate at the same place, within the same time-frame and having conflicting objectives the Police Command, acting in accordance with the Public Order Act, resolved to refer the matters to the appropriate institution, to settle the disagreements and provide direction to the Police as well as the various Organizers.”
Thus, “on 15th November 2023, the Police Command filed an application at the High Court seeking an order to prohibit the holding of the special events and successfully served the various Organizers with the Court process. The application is slated for hearing on Tuesday 21st November, 2023.
“We would like to assure the public that the Police remain committed to nurturing our growing democratic freedoms by providing the necessary security for individuals and groups as they exercise their constitutional right to protest safely and peacefully in accordance with the laws governing protests,” the Police stated.
Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Murtala Inusah