The Regional Accra Police Command has filed an application at the High Court seeking for an order to prohibit three different groups from picketing the forefront of the Jubilee House from 1 December to 31st December 2023.
The groups are Democracy Hub, Patriotic Hub and Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance.
Despite several calls on the leadership of the groups to postpone their event the organisers are adamant.
According to the Police, the three special events, if held around or at the forefront of the Jubilee House, and at the given time-lines, especially around the Christmas and New Year Festivities, may endanger public safety, public defense, public order, the running and delivery of essential services and violate the rights and freedoms of other persons among others.
To this end, Police in a statement said it has resorted to the courts to help them prevent the groups from executing their plans.
Read details of the police statement below:
POLICE STATEMENT ON THREE PLANNED DEMONSTRATIONS BY DEMOCRACY HUB, PATRIOTIC HUB AND PATRIOTIC FORUM FOR ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNANCE
1. On 11th October, 2023, the Greater Accra Regional Police Command received a Notice to embark on demonstration signed by Benjamin Akufo Darko (the “1st Notice”) for and on behalf of a group by name “Democracy Hub”.
2. The 1st Notice was to the effect that the Democracy Hub would embark on a demonstration, picketing at the forefront of the Jubilee House from 6am on the 1st of December until 10pm on 31st December, 2023 to demand for the resignation of the President of the Republic of Ghana or his impeachment by Parliament.
3. On 12th October, 2023, the Police Command received another Notice to embark on demonstration signed by Denis Appiah Larbi (the “2nd Notice”) for and on behalf of a group by name, “Patriotic Hub”.
4. The 2nd Notice was to the effect that the Patriotic Hub would embark on demonstration, picketing at the forefront of the Jubilee House, every 24 hours from 1st to 31st December, 2023 in support of the progress made by Ghana and, by extension, call for improved living conditions for citizens of Ghana.
5. Whilst Police Assessment of the two preceding notifications were ongoing, the Police Command, on 23rd October, 2023, received another notice to embark on demonstration, signed by Kwame Baffoe Abronye (the “3rd Notice”) for and on behalf of a group by name, “Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance”.
6. The 3rd Notice was to the effect that the Patriotic Forum For Accountable Governance would embark on a procession at the forefront of the Jubilee House from 8am to 7pm each day from 1st December 2023 to 5th January 2024 to express their heartfelt appreciation to the President of Ghana, for sustaining the nation through the Covid 19 pandemic and setting the nation on a path of economic recovery.
7. The Police Command undertook security assessment of the proposed common destination and overlapping timelines for the three demonstrations.
8. The Police Command, after the security assessment has reasonable grounds to believe that the three special events, if held around or at the forefront of the Jubilee House, and at the given time-lines, especially around the Christmas and New Year Festivities, may endanger public safety, public defense, public order, the running and delivery of essential services and violate the rights and freedoms of other persons among others.
9. Accordingly, the Police Command engaged the organisers’ for the three groups and conveyed the security challenges and concerns with the proposed location.
10. The Police Command also indicated its inability to provide security for the three groups to hold their respective special events lasting over thirty-one (31) days due to the Police Command’s operational and security constraints during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
11. The Police Command therefore urged the Organizers, in the interest public safety, public defense, public order, among others, to postpone the holding of their respective special events to any date after 5th January, 2024 within which period the Command will be better able to provide the demonstrators with adequate security. The Police also advised that they sought different locations to hold their respective demonstrations.
12. The Organizers on the other hand disagreed with the Police Command’s request to postpone the special event to any date after 5th January, 2024. They also disagreed with the Police on the location and insisted on holding the special events around or at the forefront of the Jubilee House.
13. Considering the disagreement on the matter, and the worrisome situation of there being three different groups demonstrating at the same place and within the same time-frame, the Police Command, acting in accordance with the Public Order Act, resolved to refer the matters to the appropriate institution, to settle the disagreements and provide direction to the Police as well as the various Organizers.
14. Thus, on 15th November, 2023, the Police Command filed an application at the High Court seeking for an order to prohibit the holding of the special event and successfully served the various Organizers with the Court process. The application is slated for Tuesday 21st November, 2023.
15. We would like to assure the public that the Police remain committed to nurturing our growing democratic freedoms by providing the necessary security for individuals and groups as they exercise their constitutional right to protest safely and peacefully in accordance with the laws governing protests.