General News of Friday, 3 March 2017
The police at Nungua, a suburb of Accra have arrested 34 people for allegedly attacking some residents on Thursday following burial preparation for the late priest of the Ga State.
Nungua District Police Commander DSP Patience Akwetey told Raymond Acquah on Joy FM’s Top Story programme Friday the men went round to harass some petty sellers whom they accused of failing to abide by a brief curfew imposed on the area.
She said their actions contradict the Public Order Act (491) which was passed in 1994 to regulate public protest and other related activities in the country.
The Act in Section 3 reads:
(a) Where at any special event any damage is caused to any public property, the organisers, or any other persons found to have been responsible for the damage caused shall be liable to pay for the cost of the damage.
(b) Any person taking part in a special event shall obey the directions of police officers safeguarding the proper movement of other persons and vehicles and generally maintain order.
(c) Any person taking part in a special event shall conduct himself in such a manner as to avoid causing obstruction of traffic, confusion or disorder.
However, the men are said to have impersonated members of the Taskforce set up by the Ga Traditional Council and police to harass residents for not observing the curfew.
DSP Akwetey said they are investigating the issue and would communicate their next line of action.
“At the moment they are suspects,” she said, adding since it is a bailable offence, they would be released in the next 48 hours within which they would have completed their investigations.
The development has angered the Ga Traditional Council resulting in calls for the police to deal with the men arrested.
Chief of Protocol for the office of Gborblu Wul)m), Michael Abblor said, “nobody has been authorised to loot people’s shop” during the period of the curfew.
“We had exemptions such as clinics, hospitals, schools, Ghana Water and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) workers and even banks,” he said, adding they were aware of activities of “unscrupulous people.”
He explained that none of the people employed by the Council to check activities of residents was arrested by the police for the commotion caused because they were told what to do.
“We set the ground rules together with the police,” he said, adding they anticipated “a few recalcirant people” would disturb the peace of the area during the period.
Mr Abblor charged the police to deal with the men who have arrested because their activities were not sanctioned by the Traditional Council.