A Koforidua based Private Legal Practitioner, Lawyer Isaac Mintah Larbi has called on all Lawyers and well-meaning Ghanaians to stand up in defense of democracy and rule of law which he says have come under serious attack.
He said President Akufo-Addo has ruined democracy and rule of law which continue to worsen by day warning of dire consequences if not checked.
His comment follows the arrest of 49 protestors on Thursday September 21, 2023 in Accra.
The protest organized by “Democracy Hub” under hashtag #OccupyJulorbiHouse was against mismanagement of the economy and rising corruption.
Considering the ensued disagreement, the Police on 19th September, 2023 filed an application to prohibit the Organisers from holding the planned demonstration at the Jubilee House from 21st September, 2023.
The application which is slated for determination on 26th September, 2023, was successfully served on the lawyers of the Organisers ie: Atuguba & Associate.
Police contended that the Jubilee House which is the seat of government where the protestors intended to march to is a Security Zone therefore a different route must be taken.
However, the protestors refused to change the destination for the protest compelling the police to charge and arrested the leaders and some participants but granted bail.
According to Lawyer Isaac Larbi “It is unfortunate that we are witnessing needless arrest of innocent citizens by the very police which has a duty to protect them. In fact let me remind the police that their job is to protect life and property. The power granted the police isn’t meant to be used to harass people, intimidate them or to engage in unlawful arrest.”
He added “unfortunately this is what we are witnessing in a democracy that is more than 30 years old in Ghana since 1992.We even had a President whose background was from the military but we never witnessed such degradation of the principles of rule of law in Ghana but see how we are witnessing the unnecessary intimidation, harassment and unlawful arrest of innocent citizens.”
“This is the time for well-meaning lawyers of this country to speak up like I am doing to ensure that our democracy is not derailed by self-seeking individuals who happen to lead this country”.
Lawyer Isaac Larbi charged the youth not to feel intimidated at all “but to rise to the occasion and resist oppressors rule as we are witnessing. Our 1992 constitution guarantees our right to demonstrate, to free speech, and to freely associate but unfortunately Ghana is experiencing a tyrannical democracy never seen or imagined to be possible in a democracy. This must end because this is not what Ghanaians bargained for when they voted for the NPP. It’s time to change government so freedom can return to Ghanaians”.
He expressed disappointment in the Ghana Bar Association for its deafening silence on happenings in the country.
“It is unfortunate the GBA has been silent over such serious breaches of human rights by the police. At a time like this the GBA should have been the first to issue a statement condemning the conduct of the police. However, its almost 48 hours since these unlawful arrests and brutalities against innocent citizens but not a word from the GBA. Sometimes you wonder what the GBA is really about.”
He continued that “this is an institution of lawyers and lawyers are the defense of people’s rights so it becomes unacceptable that the GBA which is the mouthpiece of lawyers would be quiet over such an issue. However, it is not surprising because many have said that the GBA always go to sleep when NPP is in power and that is exactly what seems to be playing itself over and over again.
Should the GBA wake up and begin to talk on national issues when NDC is in power it would definitely confirm the suspicions of everyone”.
Lawyer Isaac Larbi stated that, it will be hypocritical for GBA to wake up from its slumber again when NDC returns to power.
“In any case we wait to see whether the GBA would refuse to sleep when NDC takes power in 2024. In the meantime Ghanaians need to gird their loins going into elections 2024 because it seems some policemen have been readied for such arbitrary arrests, detentions, and abuse of power in an attempt to silence everyone but they would not succeed”.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Kojo Ansah