The Ghana Police Service has clarified that it has duly served the organizers of the September 21 demonstration, dubbed ‘#OccupyJulorBiHouse’ with the court process after it filed an injunction application to stop the protest.
According to the Ghana Police Service, after filing the injunction application, it served the organisers of the planned demonstration within the precincts of Jubilee House from Thursday, 21st to Saturday, 23rd September, 2023.
The Accra-based civil society group organising the protest, Democracy Hub, had notified the Ghana Police Service of the demonstration on Nkrumah Memorial Day to call on “the President and members of the Economic Management Team to #FixTheCountry in light of the level of economic mismanagement and theft that has engulfed our government from the highest levels.”
“The picketing will also allow citizens to express their opposition to the proposed military intervention in Niger as well as any other government policy decisions or initiatives,” it added.
According to the group, the choice of Nkrumah Memorial Day is vital to the message they intend to put across as it commemorates “the spirit of resilience and resistance that led the struggle against oppression and dispossession.”
But the Police went ahead to file the injunction application.
The Police has thus urged the public “to take note and disregard any calls from any individuals or groups encouraging them to assemble for a demonstration at the Jubilee House” as the parties wait for the court to determine the matter.
“We equally wish to urge the organisers to respect the due process in the interest of public order and public safety,” it added.
But the organisers on Wednesday insisted they have not been served the court process.
Reacting to the initial statement issued by the police, they said the police had throughout their engagement kept up a ruse, “making us believe that they will respect the law and fulfil their obligations under the Public Order Act.”
“We are appalled by the desperate and likely partisan attempts by the Police to disrupt peaceful and democratic mobilisation for our upcoming Occupy Julorbi House picket,” it stated.
It thus urged the public to disregard the police statement which is it says, is ‘riddled with misinformation’, adding the protest will take place as scheduled.
“We invite the general public to assemble at the 37 Trotro Station at 6:30am tomorrow for onward march to the Jubilee House,” it reiterated.
Justifying their decision to disregard the injunction application, Democracy Hub said, “Our decision follows that of the legal position taken by the Government, and the Electoral Commission that the mere filing of an application does not prevent the exercise of constitutional rights.”
But the Ghana Police Service in a new statement released on Wednesday evening insisted that the court process has been served through the lawyers of the protest organisers.
It said” We wish to state categorically that the organisers of Democracy Hub were duly served with the application on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023, through their lawyers (Atuguba & Associates) and for that matter, the organisers are duly aware of the pendency of the application before the High Court slated for determination on Tuesday, 26th September, 2023.
According to the police, the lawyers who were served were referenced by the organizers as their legal reps when they first notified the police of their intended protest.
The Police statement, signed by Superintendent Juliana Obeng, the Head of Public Affairs Unit, Accra Region, thus urged members of the public to avoid participating in an “unlawful” demonstration.
Below is the latest police statement:
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