…Over Acquittal & Discharge Of Delta 8 Court Invaders
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, has lashed out at the Attorney-General, Justice Gloria Akuffo, for failing to produce evidence to prosecute eight members of the Delta Force, a vigilante group linked to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He said the Attorney-General’s deliberate action to curtail the trial of the eight would lead to gross lawlessness, and consequently called for urgent corrective measures to haul the suspects back to court to uphold rule of law.
The eight members of the Delta Force were standing trial for allegedly storming a Kumasi Circuit Court on April 6, this year, to free 13 of their members, who were standing trial for vandalising property at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council, and assaulting the Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei, because they were against his appointment by President Akufo-Addo.
The group claimed that Mr. Agyei was an opportunist, and, therefore, wanted President Akufo-Addo to appoint their leader, who was instrumental in the NPP’s 2016 elections campaign, and its subsequent victory.
The eight were, therefore, charged with disturbing a court session, for resisting arrest, and freeing the 13 persons who were in lawful custody. At a court hearing in Kumasi, yesterday, the case against the eight was dismissed due to the absence of evidence.
Following this, the Minority caucus of Parliament, led by Haruna Iddrisu, yesterday, at a news conference at Parliament House, described the acquittal of the eight as a bizarre legal development in the country.
He said the Attorney-General’s refusal to pursue criminal contempt charges against the Delta Force members was a slap in the face of the administration of justice, the rule of law and the judiciary in Ghana.
Building his argument, Mr. Iddrisu said the NPP government has claimed to be a devotee of the rule of law, “but the Attorney-General’s decision to curtail [the] trial for want of evidence is a travesty of justice and a lack of respect for the judiciary.”
The Executive, he went on, has a duty to defend the tenets of the Constitution and, in particular, demonstrate in conduct and action its respect for the other arms of government, particularly, the Judiciary.
“We demand, therefore, that this cancerous exercise of discretion be reversed immediately, and the accused re-arraigned before court without any further hesitation, otherwise justice delivery will suffer a downward spiral with this uninformed action.”
Haruna Iddrisu also referred the Attorney-General to Facebook and other social media blocs, where there is enough evidence to aid the State Prosecutor re-arrest and prosecute the ‘Delta eight’.
“We are of the view that the government is pandering to partisan pressures to the detriment of justice, and to upholding the independence of the Judiciary. Article 296(a) & (b) of the 1992 Constitution circumscribes the exercise of discretion as follows: “Where in this Constitution or in any other law discretionary power is vested in any person or authority –
- a) that discretionary power shall be deemed to imply a duty to be fair and candid;
By Maxwell Ofori & Inusa Musah