Court rules against Arise Ghana request to demonstrate at night

An Accra High Court has partially granted the police a restraining and prohibition order against Arise Ghana, a pressure group.

The Court presided over by Mrs Justice Comfort Tasiame held that a June 28 demonstration by Arise Ghana could be held from 8:00am to 4:00pm.

It also turned down a request by the demonstrators to converge at the Jubilee House and demonstrate till night.

The Court said the demonstrators could converge at Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and demonstrate through Farisco, the Trades Union Congress enclave to the Independence Square on the said date.

It said the petition of the demonstrators could be received by a representative of the President of the Republic at the Independence Square and urged the organisers to comply with the Public Order Act for the sake of peace.

The group had wanted to demonstrate in the early hours of June 28 and 29 till night and converge at the Jubilee House.

The Ghana Police Service, however, disagreed with the timelines of the demonstrations and proceeded to court for redress.

At the Court, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sylvester Asare noted that the respondents’ proposed timelines would affect effective policing, hence prayed for the relocation of the intended demonstrations.

DSP Asare held that for the interest of public safety and effective policing, the Court should exercise its discretion in their favour and averted the Court’s mind to activities of terrorists within the subregion.

Mr Godwin Edudze Tamakloe, who represented Arise Ghana in court, said: “The applicant is seeking for you (court) to make a judicial decision by imposing timelines within, which the demonstrators can exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

“By this application, the applicant is clothing the court with powers beyond what Section 1(6) of the Public Order Act.”

Mr Tamakloe said the police’s assertion that the demonstrations could not be held at night because of activities of terrorists was a “clear imagination.”

“In fairness and candour, they have not provided any evidence of an intelligence report in Ghana. They are playing with the emotional keyboard of the court by mongering fear,” Mr Tamakloe said.

He recounted that the country had seen some demonstrations held at night.

Mr Tamakloe said if the court was minded of imposing a timeline, it should strike a balance between 3:00pm and 8:00pm, adding that: “This application has been brought in bad faith. The organisers have a statutory obligation under the Public Order Act to ensure that the demonstration was organised in an atmosphere of peace.

“We will respect the statutory provision of being held responsible in case of any damage to public property,” Mr Tamakloe opined.

Earlier, the Court declined an adjournment by the police following the filing of an affidavit in opposition by Arise Ghana.

The case was, therefore, stood down for some minutes after, which the police was served with the affidavit in opposition by Arise Ghana.

Arise Ghana has scheduled a demonstration on June 28 and 29, this year, against economic hardships in the country.

Source: GNA

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