The High Court in Accra has scheduled Friday, September 8, this year, to determine whether or not the Minority in Parliament representing the National Democratic Congress (NDC), can go ahead to embark on a demonstration in protest against the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, and his two deputies.
Consequently, the Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has rescheduled the demonstration which was originally scheduled for today, (Tuesday, September 5, 2023), to Tuesday, September 12, this year.
The application seeking to debar the demonstration was filed by the Ghana Police Service “in the interest of public safety” following a disagreement on selected routes for the demonstration.
In Court yesterday, Counsel for the demonstrators, Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, raised a preliminary legal objection on the grounds that the application was irregular and ought to be dismissed.
He argued that per section 99(1)(a) of the State Proceedings Act, 1998 (Act 555), the Attorney-General or a person authorized by the A-G was the sole person mandated to conduct the proceedings and not a lawyer from the Ghana Police Service since on the face of the charge sheet, the police had labeled the Republic and not the Ghana Police Service as the institution conducting the case.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Sylvester Asare, a lawyer for the Police, he said, was not the A-G or an officer authorized by the A-G adding: “Therefore, he cannot purport to sign this originating process for and on behalf of the Republic”.
Counsel argued that although police officers were allowed to prosecute cases on behalf of the A-G, it was only limited to criminal cases and cases at the lower courts.
He further added that the Ghana Police was a corporate body with the capacity to sue and be sued hence, the action ought to have been filed by the Inspector General of Police.
However, DSP Asare, who is also the Head of Legal and Prosecutions at the Criminal Investigations Department, argued that the points raised by Mr Tamakloe were unfounded.
“There is nothing that bars a constitutionally mandated institution such as the Ghana Police Service from bringing a public order action.
“The Public Order Act clearly gives us the mandate to apply to this court praying for the prohibition of the proposed special event,” he added.
Upon listening to both sides, the Court presided over by Justice Edward Twum adjourned the case to Friday, September 8 to deliver his ruling on the matter.
The Greater Accra Police Command filed the motion at the court to address the issue of routes for the Minority’s intended demonstration and picketing at the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
This comes on the back of the Minority insisting that they will use their planned routes irrespective of the challenges the police had with them.
The Police indicated that the selected routes for the planned demonstration by the Minority would endanger public order and safety.
Consequently, the police filed the application in a bid to put an injunction on the demonstration.
Credit: Graphic online