Director of the Human Rights and Governance Centre Lawyer Martin Kpebu.
A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu has criticised the Ghana Police Service, for failing to comply with the dictates of the Constitution in the arrest and detention of the Convenor for #FixThe Country, Oliver Barker-Vormawor.
In an interview with Evans Mensah on Top Story on Tuesday, he stated that, he is deeply disappointed in the way the provisions of the Constitution were misapplied in this case.
According to him, such occurrences undermine the justice system in the country. He therefore called on the Police to put measures in place to rectify the said violations.
In his opinion, the arrest of the activist, “shows a Police Service that didn’t take their time to see exactly what they want to charge him with”.
He added that, “they’ve been doing merry-go-round. They started with offensive conduct, and now they’ve ended at treason felony. So it just doesn’t bode well for our democracy. The Police has really really embarrassed us. From the way they denied him access to his lawyer, it’s breaching of Article 14 (2). And further detaining him more than 48 hours before going to court, against the Supreme Court decision. Can you imagine?
“Chief Justice Sophia Akufo. Her dearest judgment that she’s given the people of Ghana the 48 decision. You know that was her valedictory judgment. That means that as Chief Justice, when she was leaving on the bench, that was the best she thought she could give Ghanaians. That people of Ghana, I’m giving you a decision that will make court services available 365 days a year. That is Kpebu number 4 versus Attorney General number 4.
And the police have thrown this law to the dogs. I’m just imagining what CJ Akufo will be feeling. And not only that, current Chief Justice Kwesi Anin-Yeboah rolled out implementation of the law and we’ve been enjoying it.
We’ve been going to court on Saturdays, public holidays. So the same for Sundays. And yet the Police have thrown this Constitution to the dogs. And they’re telling us that they’re protecting the Constitution. It’s a mockery. Complete mockery. And that is what we have to let the Police Service understand. That they’re not bigger than the Constitution”, Mr. Kpebu stated.
Stating his reservations, he also indicated that in the last two weeks, he has observed about four cases, where the Police have detained people forty-eight hours, a pattern he says constitutes a willful disregard for the Constitution.
“They’re breaching the Constitution willingly. We will not allow that to happen. The Police are destroying the Constitution and that is what we must point out to them”, he emphasised.
On Monday, the Police confirmed the arrest of one of the #FixTheCountry conveners, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, over his comment on social media to stage a coup.
In a press release many hours after the disappearance of the Cambridge University PhD student, the Police said their Tema Regional Command arrested him.
This they explained followed “a post he allegedly made on a social media platform to the effect that he would stage a coup himself if the E-Levy Bill is passed by Parliament.”
Oliver Barker Vormawor had taken to social media to threaten to stage a coup following pictures emerging from the Majority Leader’s 65th party showing an E-levy designed cake. He posted, “If this E-Levy passes after this cake bullshit, I will do the coup myself. Useless Army!”
According to the Police, Mr Barker-Vormawor’s “post contain(ed) a clear statement of intent with a possible will to execute a coup in his declaration of intent to subvert the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana”. But reacting to this, Martin Kpebu stated that the Police acted out of order in arresting the activist.
Meanwhile, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, has been charged with treason felony.
This is an offence provided for under Section 182(b) of Ghana’s Criminal offences Act. He is expected to reappear on Monday, February 28.