The Peoples National Convention (PNC) is skeptical about government’s claim that some arrests have been made in connection with the recent market fires.
The party says the arrest of the suspected arsonists is a “political gimmick” and an attempt by government to deceive Ghanaians.
This comes in wake of an announcement made by a Deputy Information Minister, Murtala Mohammed that some suspected arsonists have been arrested.
Addressing the media at the Flagstaff House Thursday, Murtala said even though government has details of the persons arrested, it would not rush to reveal them until they are screened.
But speaking on Citi FM Friday, Policy Analyst of the PNC, Atik Mohammed opined that the arrest is a “huge hoax” to justify President John Mahama’s suspicion of arson.
“The President has made an emphatic statement that these market fires are act of arsonists and so every attempt at ensuring that he [Mahama] is exonerate is what government is embarking upon” Atik claimed.
The PNC man questioned the basis of the arrest “at a time we are told investigations are still ongoing”.
He contended that many of those people arrested might not even have a clue about what went on in relation to the fires.
Atik Mohammed urged government to rise above the “pettiness” and ensure that the people culpable are brought to book.
Meanwhile the Bureau of Public Safety is challenging government to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the people arrested are indeed arsonists.
The Executive Secretary, Davidson Akwada argued that the government will need cogent evidence to link the suspect to the crimes.
“While it is refreshing that some progress is being made, I think we are a long way from justice. What we are talking about is a possible arson which is a second degree felony [therefore] the state would need incontrovertible evidence to link these people to the kind of crimes they are being accused of”.
Davidson Akwada said until the security is able to marshal evidence to prosecute the alleged arsonists; it will be premature for Ghanaians to jubilate.
Meanwhile, the Presidency has dismissed claims that the arrest of some persons suspected to be behind the series of fire outbreaks at market centres in the country is a hoax.
According to Deputy Information Minister, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, government will soon publish detailed information about the suspects, as soon as the security agencies are through with their screening.