Prime News Ghana

Arise Ghana demo hits Accra today  

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Arise Ghana demonstration will be held in Accra today, June 28 to protest the economic hardship in the country.

Accra High Court yesterday ruled that pressure group, Arise Ghana can stage its protest only between the hours of 8am to 4pm.

But one of the organizers, Sammy Gyamfi said they have appealed the ruling and filed for a stay of execution.

He explained they can still go ahead with their initial time of 3pm to 8pm and maintain their demonstration route which will end at the Jubilee House.

But the court yesterday additionally directed that the protest should commence at the Obra Spot here in Accra and end at the Independence Square.

This was the decision of the court in connection with a case filed by the Ghana Police Service.

The Service filed the case seeking to halt the two day protest set to commence on Tuesday.

This was after it alleged in a statement that the group, Arise Ghana, had refused to begin and end the demonstration before night fall.

The group, however, contends it reached an agreement with the Police and is therefore surprised at the turn of events.

DSP Sylvester Asare on Monday urged the court to adjourn the matter since the Police Service was yet to receive documents filed by the protestors.

But lawyer for the protestors, Godwin Tameklo accused the Police of bad faith; adding that the protest was to take place on Tuesday.

He told the court that granting an adjournment will effectively mean putting the protest on hold. The group, he continued, informed the Police of the demonstration as far back as June 2.

The Court presided over by Justice Comfort Tasiame adjourned proceedings to 11:30am to enable the Police to study the documents.

At 11:30 am on Monday, DSP Asare once again asked for an adjournment.

He explained that the Police needed more time to study the documents.

On his part, Mr. Tameklo urged the court to dismiss the application, arguing that granting this request will empower the Police to use such processes to frustrate the rights of citizens to protest.

Justice Comfort Tasiame subsequently dismissed the request by the Police and directed that lawyers for the Service justify why the protest should be halted.

DSP Asare then told the court, the proposed timelines as put forward by the protestors have the potential to affect effective policing.

He explained that it is on this basis that the Police was asking for a restraining order.

Lawyer for Arise Ghana, Godwin Tameklo disagreed.

He insisted the Police have no power under the law to determine at which time a protest should take place.

He accused the Police yet again of acting in bad faith and going against its arrangement with the group. He said the organizers had initially wanted to stage a 48hour non-stop protest but later conceded to end at 3pm and 5pm on day one and two respectively.

The Court presided over by Justice Tasiame decided to grant the request by the Police partially by fixing the said timelines and routes.