Court stops Let My Vote Count from picketing tomorrow

The Ghana Police Service has secured a fresh order restraining pressure group, Let My Vote Count, from going ahead with its planned demonstration and picketing at the premises of the country’s Electoral Commission on Tuesday.

“…that the organisers of Let My Vote Count alliance are restrained from demonstrating on September 29, 20015,” the order issued by the court Monday afternoon and signed by the presiding judge, Mr. Seidu Yusif stated.

However, it has directed the organisers to fix a new date in October for the demonstration and subsequent picketing at the Commission to present a petition demanding for a total overhaul of the Ghana’s voters’ register.

The court held that would give the Police adequate time to prepare to ensure the safety of the demonstrators and the general public.

Another Circuit Court earlier this morning cleared the pressure group to demonstrate and picket at the Commission where they are expected to present a petition on the need for a new national voters’ register.

That  stemmed from the fact that an ex-parte injunction granted the Police on September 18 for 10 days is due to expire by close of Monday.

But the Police had already on September 25, filed a new ex-parte motion praying the court to restraint the group, whose initial attempt to picket at the Commission failed on September 16.

In an affidavit in support of the motion, the Police argued it had picked intelligence that some “hardened criminals had planned to attack, rob and cause panic within Accra and other regions” as happened in Ho last week where a Police Constable was shot dead.

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“That there is intelligent led mapping-up operation against some criminal dens within Accra and other regions from 25th to 30th of September , 2015 to arrest these criminals,” it averred.

According to the Police, it has had to dispatch some of its personnel to Bolgatanga where chieftaincy dispute erupted Saturday night, and that in view of these, it is unable to offer protection for the members of the pressure group.

The Police on September 16, prevented the group from going to picket at the Commission, and fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse the hundreds of Ghanaians protesting against what they claim to be infiltration of foreigners in the country’s voters’ register.

A number of them were injured in the process as a result of an alleged Police brutalities.

But dissatisfied with the Police’s action to stop them for the second time, the group filed a motion to set aside the 10-day injunction. When the case came up for hearing this morning, it emerged that the injunction was due to expire by close of today [Monday], prompting the judge, M.E. Essandoh  to give the group the green light.

The court said it is the duty of the Police to protect the demonstrators in tomorrow’s demonstration. But the latest development mean the group cannot go ahead with its demonstration tomorrow.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah/