Programs Manager at the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Paul Aborampa has advised Ghanaians to allow the institutions of justice to carry out their mandate without interference and undue pressure.

He noted that such independence in the administration of justice would go a long way to curb the scourge of vigilantism the country had been battling for a while now.

During the inauguration of the Law House in Accra, President Akufo-Addo assured Ghanaians that the government will not sit aloof for vigilantes to have their way in the upcoming 2024 elections.

But, speaking on the Morning Starr with Francis Abban, Mr. Aborampa attributed the continued existence of vigilante groups in the political space to the lenient penal regimes prosecutors opted for when charging culprits belonging to such groups.

“Since the promulgation of ACT 999 in 2019, prosecutors still proffer cases from the old criminal code, and if somebody offends some of these things and he is charged 10 penalty units, 20 penalty units which is 250 Ghana [cedis] 550 [cedis], even their younger brothers can pay so we are just advocating for something we are not practicing upon.

“If ACT999 is enforced and people who are affected by the ACT publicize for their colleagues to know the intensity and humidity of the ACT, we will still continue to talk about these things at every function,” he warned. 

The Senior Programmes Officer at CDD-Ghana revealed that Members of Parliament who worked with vigilante groups in the past had come to recognize the urgent need to rid the country of their ways.

Addressing arguments that opposition members would be left vulnerable to attacks from state security agencies should the vigilante groups be banned, Mr. Aborampa categorically noted that such allegations were usually taking points by successive oppositions which were not based in fact.

He challenged politicians who made claims to that effect to back them up with evidence.

He further observed that electoral violence was “cyclical,” in that when offenders were left off the hook, others would be encouraged to do same.

He was convinced that the government had failed to make vigilantism unattractive by enforcing tough penalties as provided for in ACT 999.

“I’m not seeing it because of lack of enforcement,” he said. “I’m not seeing it because of lack of action.”  

Source: Ghana/ Asare Amoamah