General News of Saturday, 16 December 2017
Private lawyer Dr Raymond Atuguba has written to the Nima Police Command demanding the whereabouts of his client Bernard Mornah, chairman of the PNC who was arrested on Saturday together with security analyst Irbard Ibrahim and 18 others for allegedly taking part in an illegal gathering organised at the Kawukudi Park by the Ghana-Togo Solidarity Movement.
Below is Dr Atuguba’s full letter:
The Officer in Charge Nima Police Station Off Ring Road Central Accra
DEMAND NOTICE: BERNARD ANBATAAYELA MORNAH
We act as Solicitors for BERNARD ANBATAAYELA MORNAH, (our “Client”) and write to you upon his firm instructions.
At about 9am this morning, I saw an incoming call from our Client, who is also the National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC). I was unable to answer his call, as I was then meeting with another client.
At 9:31am, I received a WhatsApp Messenger message from our Client as follows: “We have been picked in Rambo style and now at Nima Police Station”. I abruptly adjourned my meeting and called him back.
He informed me that he had previously written to the Ghana Police Service on behalf of the Ghana-Togo Solidarity Movement, seeking permission to hold a rally in Ghana, in support of persons in the Republic of Togo whose rights were being violated. The Police requested for a meeting with the Movement to urge them not to hold the rally, as they claimed they were short of numbers to provide the requisite protection.
The position of the Movement at the meeting was that, as a lot of resources had already been invested by them in preparation for the rally, they would be unable to cancel or postpone same.
In the alternative, the Movement informed the Police that they could resort to the terms of the Public Order Act to secure a court order to postpone the rally.
This morning, as the rally was about to commence at the Kawukudi Park, a band of police officers descended upon them, forcibly dispersed the gathering, rounded up about twenty (20) members of the Movement and detained them at the Nima Police Station. As of the time he was speaking to me, he and the others were being held at the Nima Police Station.
As at the time of writing this letter, the Police have still not informed them of the reason(s) for their arrest and detention and they are still under detention.
I despatched a Staffer to the Police Station to monitor the situation, as I expected the clear illegal arrest to abate momentarily. The last report I received from our Staffer was to the effect that some or all of the 20 persons arrested were being processed to be locked up in the Nima Police Station cells.
Therefore, we urgently wish to inquire from you the following:
1. Whether or not our Client, BERNARD ANBATAAYELA MORNAH, is in the custody of the Nima Police Station, any of the affiliates of that Police Station, or any officer or worker or affiliate or agent of that Police Station;
2. Whether or not our Client has been charged with any offence(s), and if so what offence(s);
3. Whether or not our Client will be granted bail, and if so on what day and time;
4. Whether or not our Client will be put before a Court of law, and if so on what day and time and at which Court.
I have copied the President of the Republic of Ghana, the Chief Justice, the Attorney-General, and the Inspector General of Police on this letter for the following reasons.
The President is the employer of the Inspector General of Police; the Chief Justice is the official empowered to appoint a judge to sit on any matter that may arise regarding this case on a Saturday or Sunday; the Inspector General of Police is the supervisor of the police officers who effected the arrest of our Client, and of the Nima Police Station; and the Attorney-General is both the principal legal adviser to Government and the nominal or substantive defendant in any human rights or other action or proceedings we may decide to pursue to vindicate the rights of our Client.
Finally, in the event that any notice is required for the institution of any legal proceedings against you or any recipient of this letter, this letter shall constitute such notice.
Be accordingly advised.
Dr. Raymond Atuguba
(License No. GAR 14621/17)
CC: 1. The President of the Republic of Ghana Office of the President Flagstaff House Kanda Accra
2. The Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana Chief Justice’s Chambers Supreme Court Building Accra
3. The Attorney-General Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department Ministries Accra
4. The Inspector General of Police Ghana Police Service Headquarters Cantonments Accra