Convener of the #FixTheCountry group, Oliver Barker-Vormawor was in high spirits Thursday evening after his release from custody at the Railways Police Station where he had been illegally detained.
Barker-Vormawor and 48 others were arrested in the morning of September 21 as they started their #OccupyJulorbiHouse protest aimed at sitting-in at the seat of the presidency, Jubilee House.
After hours of work by lawyers, bail was secured for himself and a number of the illegally detained protesters.
A video released in front of the police station captured him and about six others singing a Twi song that went like: “Bad old man, if you insist on destroying Ghana, destroy her and let’s see,” which chorus they sang in joy.
Barker-Vormawor is them heard shouting “people” whiles his compatriots responded “power!”
Background: The #OccupyJulorbiHouse protests:
On Day 1 (September 21) of the #OccupyJulorbiHouse protests by the Democracy Hub, a group of young activists; police illegally rounded up 49 protesters who were marching to demand action on prevailing economic crisis and corruption.
The illegal arrests, especially how they were conducted by the police triggered harsh criticism of impeding the constitutional right to protest and deploying highhandedness on the part of police.
Police sent the detainees to the regional headquarters before splitting them up to about eight police stations dotted across the capital, even as colleague protesters and lawyers worked to secure bail for the illegally detained persons.
In this process, other journalists and protesters who massed up especially at the Accra Regional Command encountered some amount of police violence including shoving, forced detention, seizure of phone and in the case of other physical assault.
In their first of two statements on the day, police said the illegal arrests were justified because protesters were defying a court injunction served on them, which process they denied had been properly served.
The second statement addressed the purported arrest of a BBC journalist and his cameraman, which reportage they dismissed as untrue.
By the close of day, almost all illegally detained protesters per GhanaWeb checks had been released from illegal detention on bail, it remains to be seen whether Day Two of the three-day protest targeting the seat of government, the Jubilee House, will come off today (September 22, 2023).