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Efia Odo, 14 other #FixTheCountry protesters released

Actress Efia Odo and some 14 other #FixTheCountry campaigners who were arrested on Friday for unlawful assembly at the precincts of the high court in Accra, have been released.

Some of them were seen wielding placards, as the court heard a matter relating to their intended demonstration.

They were made to write their statements at the police station and discharged.

They are to report to the police on Monday, 28 June 2021.

Meanwhile, the court has ruled that Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame can represent the police in the ongoing case between the state and the #FixTheCountry campaigners, thus, dismissing a preliminary objection against Mr Dame’s involvement in the matter, as raised by the lawyers of the prospective protestors on Monday, 21 June 2021.

The lawyers of the #FixTheCountry campaigners stood on the Public Order Act to advance their arguments but Justice Ruby Aryeetey of the Criminal Division of the High Court ruled today, Friday, 25 June 2021 that the Police Service is not competent to handle a suit on behalf of the state without the authorisation of the Attorney General.

The ruling paves the way for the court to now head the substantive matter between the #FixTheCountry conveners and the state.

Mr Dame, on Thursday, said there is nothing pressing or urgent about the intended #FixTheCountry demonstration for it to be allowed to come off.

In an interview with Francisca Kakra Forson on Accra-based Metro TV’s Good Afternoon Ghana programme on Thursday, 24 June 2021, Mr Dame wondered: “…What is the purpose for this demonstration?”

“They [#FixTheCountry conveners] say they are demonstrating on account of broken promises by successive governments, so, that shows really it’s a demonstration on their own showing”, explaining: “It’s not about the NPP”. “It’s on account of factors that have resulted since independence, so, it’s not urgent, it’s not pressing”, he asserted.

Stressing his arguments against the intended demonstration, Mr Dame asked: “If you’re demonstrating about broken promises by successive governments since independence, what is the urgency about it?”

“And, in any case”, he observed: Are they not also mobilising through other means – social media and what have you?”

Anyway, he pointed out, “the matter is in court. [It’s as] simple as that. I’ll rest my argument here”.

The Supreme Court quashed an earlier ruling by the high court that placed an injunction on the demonstration until COVID-19 was no more.

The injunction was on account of a prayer by the police to the high court to stop the march in keeping with the mass-gathering restrictions instituted by the government to mitigate the spread of the virus, which has, so far, killed close to 800 people in Ghana since it was first confirmed in the country on 12 March 2020.

The state and the conveners are still battling the matter in court.

Mr Dame believes although the Akufo-Addo government has been magnanimous to the #FixTheCountry campaigners in terms of its overtures to them, he suspects they are up to no good.

“They actually indicated that they wanted to be heard, so, what did the government do? In an unprecedented fashion, the government constituted virtually its top leaders in government to engage them on their concerns”.

“I was one of them, the minister of defence, minister of foreign affairs, minister for the interior, minister of finance, and a few other ministers – national security minister. Clearly it was successful. When I was at the meeting, they actually refused to speak. I understand when I left, they made a few remarks and that was it. I don’t know why. So, that tells you the motive is, perhaps, more mischievous and deeper than [meets the eye]”, he told Kakra Forson.

Responding to why the court case has become more like a personal pet project of his, Mr Dame riposted: “I’m hands-on if necessary because the buck rests with the attorney general”, explain: “I’m the principal legal adviser to the president of Ghana; this is a matter of immense public interest, a matter that the president has deemed it necessary to convene most of his top ministers; finance, trade, interior, defence, foreign affairs, to meet such prospective demonstrators and the matter has resulted in a court proceeding; what is awkward or what is absurd about the attorney general representing state?”

“It shows that the government is actually concerned about them and that concern was exhibited long before we even went to court – by engaging them”, he noted.

Source: classfmonline.com

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