AFRC goes to court over ‘yentua demo’

…To force police to give way for the demonstration



The Alliance for Responsible Citizens (AFRC) has served notice of intent to go to court to force the Ghana Police Service to make way for a planned demonstration against the NPP government’s attempt to shut down 131 radio stations to come on.

In a short statement signed by Convener, Francis Ansah Tawiah, it was indicated that the group had been constrained to sue the Constabulary because of monkey business that the Police has resorted to, to frustrate the demonstration in a bid to save the face of the Akufo-Addo government.

“The AFRC as law abiding citizens will appear before the court and present their case why the YENTUADEMO must come off to guarantee Free Press, Free Speech and Media Plurality which is being illegally and unconstitutionally curtailed by the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Minister of Communications.”

According to the statement, the decision had been reached after a meeting with the Police who had strangely claimed that a wave of insecurity in the country has spread personnel thin.

The AFRC however, says it had not been fooled and knows that the excuse is a convenient one that the Police Service, headed by the President’s cousin, IGP Asante Apeatu, is making in attempt to save face for the Akufo-Addo government which is seen to have increasingly become authoritarian.

“A short meeting with the police this morning has painted a very   bleak security situation in Ghana, the police claim, and by a court restraining order, *that the security situation in the country is out of their control and any demonstration held in the country “will pose a major breach that the state may not be able to avert.

“We wish to assure all the politicians in police uniform [Mr. Asare etc] that no amount of intimidation, delay or other machinations will take us off our focus in the defense of the Ghanaian constitution.

“We assure the public to standby, the police will only succeed in delaying the demonstration but surely as day follows night, we will soon embark on the peaceful demonstration and they will be obliged to provide personnel for the exercise.”

Francis Ansah Tawiah had co-signed the statement with Eric Adjei, AFRC’s Director of Communications.

The regime protectionist posture of the Police that the AFRC is complaining about is happening just a few weeks after ACP Maame Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, a deputy Director of the Criminal Investigations Department, had been caught asking musician, A Plus, to cover up thievery that two deputy Chiefs of Staff had allegedly committed.

The AFRC had recently announced plans to demonstrate against the National Communication Authority’s decision to close down 131 radio stations, including all those that are perceived to be sympathetic to the opposition National Democratic Congress.

NCA’s decision had been based on the fact that the stations had not renewed their licenses.

Outrageously, per the sanctions, some radio stations were to pay as high as Ghc60million.

However, the Minority in Parliament has since pointed out that a renewal of sanctions by the NCA, which had made them draconian did not receive Parliamentary approval. Since then, the NCA, headed by Joe Anokye, who is suspected to have helped the NPP to hack into the Electoral Commission’s database to manipulate results figures during the 2016 election has announced intent to slash the penalties imposed by 50%.

However, the AFRC has said that the idea of the sanctions itself is unacceptable, and therefore decided to demonstrate against them. It is this intended demonstration that the Police is said to have used every dirty trick in the book to frustrate.

First the police refused to approve access routes for the group. Now it has graduated to obtaining a court order to ensure that same demonstration does not come on.

But the AFRC have made it clear that no amount bof intimidation or hanky-panky will dissuade them from demonstrating.

They have served notice of intent to go to court to get clearance that will force the Police to give them way to demonstrate.



Source: Stan Adotey

The Republic News Online

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