A contingent of the police last Saturday morning arrested the Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, and 18 others at Kawo Kudi, near the Accra Girls’ Senior High School (SHS) in Accra, after dispersing their planned demonstration against the Togolese government.
Also arrested was a spokesperson for the pro-Togolese opposition solidarity movement in Ghana, Irbad Ibrahim.
Notice had been served earlier by the conveners of the demonstration and police authorization given, but at the eleventh hour, the permit was revoked according to the law enforcement agency, as contained in an explanation it issued on Saturday.
The Nima Police Station was a beehive of news hounds who trooped to the location to find out what was happening even as Bernard and his colleagues were holed up in the custody of the law enforcement agency.
The placards and the flags, after being on the threshold of the District Headquarters following their seizure, were later loaded on to a pickup and taken to an undisclosed location.
The Director-General of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP/Mr. David Eklu, in a statement, explained that the 19 were arrested by the Greater Accra Regional police for unlawful assembly and engaging in acts which were likely to ‘occasion the breach of the peace.’
Members of a group of protesters, led by Mr. Bernard Mornah, according to him, sought to embark on a demonstration against the advice of the police, adding that although the leader of the group (Mr Bernard Mornah), had earlier served notice to the police of their intention to embark on a demonstration in support of some Togolese nationals in Ghana who have been agitating for what they termed a change in government in Togo, their authorization was revoked because of a rival protest in opposition, according to information the police received.
Bernard Mornah, the police explanation went on, declined the advice not to go ahead with the demonstration whereupon he and others were arrested and charged accordingly.
The police administration has in view of the aforementioned development, renewed its appeal to members of the public who intend to hold public events, to cooperate with them during the forthcoming Yuletide to ensure the security of demonstrators.
The arrested persons, after their detention at the Nima Police Station, were later released on bail but in an interview, defiant Bernard Mornah described the police action as uncouth.
He added that he could not fathom why the Director of Operations in the Greater Accra Region, Chief Superintendent Kwesi Ofori, did what he did when he and his men arrested them at the Kawo Kudi area.
Mr Mornah accused the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, of ‘hobnobbing’ with the government of Togo – an indication that Ghana was supportive of the status quo in that country.
The Togolese government is facing a series of demonstrations from the mainly Kotokoli ethnic group in the north of the country and Ewes in the south for what they claim is the long reign of the Gnassingbe family – for the past 50 years.
Some soldiers have lost their lives at Sokode as well as civilians in a give-and-take brawl which is threatening the security of the neighbouring countries.
Some Togolese were earlier arrested and arraigned before courts when they reportedly abused their refugee status and embarked upon a demonstration in the country.