A professor at the University of Ghana School of Law, Professor Kwadwo Appiagyei -Atua has bemoaned the treatment meted out to the occupy Jubilee House protestors on September 21, 2023 by the Ghana Police Service.
He said the Police Service is not an adjudicating body, thus cannot assume the powers of a court.
“What offence did the protestors commit and even if they committed any crime, it is the courts to determine,” he asserted.
“What the Police Service needed to do was to go to court to determine if the protestors are in contempt with the court or not, but in place of the law, they took the law into their own hands, to determine that the demonstrators were in violation of the public order act,” Professor Appiagyei-Atua explained on Ghana Tonight, TV3's late night news analysis programme on September 21, 2023.
According to the law professor, because the injunction had not been granted by a court, the protestors' decision to go ahead with the demonstration was not in violation of any law.
“Service had not been properly effected. The case has not been heard in court, injunction has not been issued. If the service has been effected, then the other party cannot do anything, just in case court would have granted the injunction. Also, so far as the injunction has not been granted, the protestors could go ahead until the injunction is granted. So, the demonstration was not in violation of the law,” he stressed.
Prof. Appiagyei-Atua is therefore encouraging the protestors to seek redress from either CHRAJ or the Human Rights Court as the Ghana Police Service has violated their dignity as well as the 1992 Constitution.
It would be recalled that a group of young activists identified as Democracy Hub on September 21, 2023 converged at the 37 Military Hospital bus stop heading towards Jubilee House, the seat of Government, to demand action to curb the economic crisis. They were arrested by personnel of the Ghana Police Service and charged with disrupting public order.
By Clara Boadi Konadu