The Ghana Association of Magistrates and Judges (AMJG) and Judicial Service Staff Association (JUSAG) have condemned Thursday’s raid at a Kumasi Circuit court where 13 suspects on trial were freed.
The two groups at a joint press conference Friday said the incident marks a sad day in the democratic development of the country.
“That a group of persons can enter a court room and forcibly free persons who were a subject of criminal prosecution is clearly unacceptable and we condemn it unreservedly,” the two groups said.
They called the attack “primitive, uncivilised, uncouth, primordial and above all criminal.”
Some well-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.
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 before court, 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.
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.
Adding their voices to the condemnation, JUSAG and AMJG described the attack as a “criminal” development that should be discouraged.
They entreated government and Police to “arrest and bring to normalcy the situation for peace-loving Ghanaians to go about their lawful duties.”
“We would, with deference, strongly advise the police in the future not to fail in their threat assessment of cases that come before the courts.”
They also urged their members in Kumasi to stay calm as they work with the Judicial Council, police and government to bring the perpetrators to justice.