Home World Samson’s Take: Democracy in danger – stop the police now!  

Samson’s Take: Democracy in danger – stop the police now!  


Let’s be clear about this. A country that is in this broke state after an IMF bailout ought not entertain this conduct by the police to unconstitutionally and unlawfully stifle citizens’ most basic human and constitutionally guaranteed rights to demonstrate and express their suffering.

All lovers of democracy must fight the creeping unconstitutional fetters to citizens’ inalienable birthrights enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution 1992. We must not leave this to the Democracy Hub or #FixTheCountry.

  1. A public notice (press release, not a filed application) announcing that an application for an injunction has been filed can NEVER constitute service of that application unless such notice is an order by the court. A court may order service of a process by publication (substituted service) where personal service of the process has been unsuccessful after three or more attempts to serve, and further attempts deemed to cause undue delay or that personal service has become impractical (Order 7 Rule 6(1) of C.I 47).
  2. The police service is a creature of law and not a law unto itself. The Constitution in Article 296 fetters the exercise of discretion where it gives discretionary power in such clear terms that “[w]here in this Constitution or in any other law discretionary power is vested in any person or authority— (a) that discretionary power shall be deemed to imply a duty to be fair and candid; (b) the exercise of the discretionary power shall not be arbitrary, capricious or biased either by resentment, prejudice or personal dislike and shall be in accordance with due process of law…”
  3. Consequently, if what Oliver Barker-Vormawor told Joynews Top Story about having duly notified the police a month ago and that they have even been arranging with them, only days ago, to draw some redlines around the Jubilee House remains factual, then this is such abuse of discretion, bad faith and must not be allowed.
  4. Even worse is the police’s violation of Section 1 subsections 4,5 and 6 of the Public Order Act in the ambush and premature purported application for injunction. Remember no actual court process has been exhibited to the public notice. These provisions of the Public Order Act are clear that the only time the police can approach the court to try to prohibit a demonstration is when these two conditions have first been satisfied:

i. That upon receipt of the NOTICE of demonstration, it requested organisers to postpone or relocate the event because it has reasonable grounds to believe that “if [the event is] held [it] may lead to violence or endanger public defence, public order, public safety, public health or the running of essential services or violate the rights and freedoms of any other persons”;


ii. That the organisers have rejected the request, or have failed, within 48 hours after the request, to write to notify police of their willingness to postpone or relocate the event.

5. If it is the case that the police did not comply with these dictates of the Public Order Act, then it is rather their conduct that threatens law and order and our democracy of the rule of law. Like the EC, the police must be told that they are not doing anybody any favours. They are hired and paid by citizens to facilitate and not frustrate citizens’ exercise of fundamental human rights. This shameful ambush violation is the reason Justice Dominic Dennis Adjei (sitting in as additional High Court judge) in the Let My Vote Count case stopped police from obtaining injunction ex parte and always at the last hour to stop demonstrations. Don’t be derelict! Just go out there on Nkrumah’s birthday and provide security for the demonstrators or leave them alone!

September 20, 2023


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