Togolese protestor’s age in dispute

World News of Tuesday, 14 November 2017



Court GavelThe Court has directed the police to take him to the Police Hospital for his age to be determined

An Accra Circuit Court has directed the police to take one of the Togolese protestors, who claims to be 11-years-old, to the Police Hospital for his age to be determined.

The supposed ‘minor’ was arrested with 25 Togolese protestors on October 28, 2017 by the Greater Regional Police Command at Kawukudi Park, near Nima where they had converged to demonstrate against the Gnassingbe Eyadema dynasty in Togo.

His plea could not be taken on October 31 when the protestors were arraigned before the court due to his age.

He was subsequently remanded into custody since the whereabouts of his parents could not be immediately traced.

Appearing in court yesterday, defence counsel for the 26 protestors, Godwin Tamakloe, prayed the court to grant the minor bail with terms that will compel him to appear before the court for the trial.

He said the minor must be tried separately.

But the court presided over by Magistrate Ruby Naa Ayikai Aryeetey, questioned the defence counsel’s assertion that the accused is a minor, saying “I have a five-year-old child and there is no way this young man is 11.”

She also rejected the statement of the father of the accused person that the ‘minor’ who has what looks like moustache, was aged 11 since he failed to provide the court with any birth certificate.

She, therefore, ordered the case investigator to send the supposed minor to the Police Hospital for his age to be determined.

She adjourned the case to November 17, 2017 to rule on the bail application by which time the medical report would have been ready.

Magistrate Ayikai Aryeetey also adjourned the substantive case involving the 26 Togolese protestors to November 30, 2017.

The Greater Accra Police Command, on October 28, 2017, arrested the Togolese nationals and some Ghanaians, who were clad in red attires and headbands at the Kawukudi Park.

They demonstrated against the government of Togo to press home their demand for constitutional reforms in that country.

The suspects were reportedly riding motorbikes recklessly on the Nima Highway, which according to the police, posed a security threat to the public.

The police, upon a tipoff, deployed a patrol team to the place.

Upon seeing the patrol team, all the demonstrators took to their heels while the police gave them a hot chase. The 26 suspects were eventually arrested by the police.

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