Judicial Council meets over Delta Force court attack

The Judicial Council has called an emergency meeting Friday over the raiding of a Circuit court in Kumasi where 13 suspects standing trial were freed.

Joy News has learnt the decision-making body of the judiciary will discuss the circumstances that led to Thursday’s attack and register its disappointment in the strongest possible terms.

The Judicial Council is chaired by Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood with membership from 17 state institutions, agencies and professional groups.

Delta Force members after attack on Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator

The attack on the court by pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) vigilante group, Delta Force, has been widely criticised by Ghanaians, civil societies and political parties.

Some bodily-built men numbering 50 stormed the court and resisted an order to hold 13 of their members in prison custody. The 13 are standing trial for violent behaviour and assault.

The 13 were part of 21 men arrested by the police after they attacked the newly appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei. The men had said Mr Agyei did not deserve the position because he played no role in the struggle to bring the NPP into power.

Related Article: GBA condemns sickening, horrifying Delta Force attack

They wanted President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to appoint their leader who was instrumental in the NPP’s 2016 elections camapign.

Out of the 21 men who were rounded up by the police and arraigned, only 13 showed up. This compelled Presiding judge, Mary M.E. Nsenkyire to direct the 13 men to be kept in custody to reappear on April 20.

Dissatisfied with the judge’s decision, the men who were at the premises to sympathise with their colleagues, rushed into the court to free the 13.

Related Article: Delta Force escapees: Turn yourselves in or be flushed out – Interior Minister

IGP, David Apeatu

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Apeatu, told the media Thursday the men used the backdoor of the court reserved for the judge.

The leadership of the NPP, Ghana Bar Association (GBA), and National Democratic Congress (NDC) have all condemned the invasion, blaming it on the negligence of the police.

Related Article: 13 Delta Force members report to police

The Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, entreated the escapees to turn themselves in or be smoked out by the police. However, the Ashanti Regional Police Command has said the 13 men have all reported to the police.

Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery

The incident has stoked an old debate about the need to beef up security of the country’s judges and the various courts. The Police have offered to provide protection for Mary M.E. Nsenkyire after the attack, but reports say she has turned down the offer.

The Association of Judges and Magistrates has scheduled a press conference on Friday to add its voice to the chorus of condemnation which has greeted the violent behaviour of the group.

Meanwhile, Joy News has gathered the judge at the center of the invasion has signed the remand warrant for the 13 men who turned themselves in to be sent to the Central Prisons in Kumasi. They will be kept there until the April 20 hearing.

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