Spio drags EC, IGP, 2 others to court over Ayawaso violence

Spio drags EC, IGP, 2 others to court over Ayawaso violence
Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com|edwin.appiah@myjoyonline.com
Date: 12-02-2019 Time: 05:02:40:pm
IGP David Asante Apietu, EC chair Jean Mensa, Minister of State in charge of National Security Byran Acheampong, Attorney-General Gloria Akuffo

A flagbearer aspirant of the National Democratic Congress, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has dragged the minister of state in charge of National Security to court, over the political violence at Ayawaso West Wuogon in the Greater Accra Region.

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Jean Mensa, the Inspector-General of Police David Asante Appietu and Attorney-General Gloria Akuffo are the other defendants. 

In the suit filed Tuesday February 12, 2019 at the High Court, the defendants are all cited for their roles in the January 31st 2019 by-election violence. The candidate of the governing NPP Lydia Alhassan was declared winner.

The NDC presidential aspirant wants the Electoral Commission ordered to set up its own intelligence gathering system in addition to organising elections.

Blaming the police, the Mr Spio-Garbrah wants a declaration that the Ghana Police Service exhibited cowardice and failed to quell the violence perpetrated by masked armed men wearing NSC T-Shirts suggesting they are operatives of National Security.

This conduct of the police, he said, could possibly send signals to bandits who could disguise themselves in security uniforms to cause mayhem.

The NDC politician also wants the court to order that a minister of State in charge of National Security who has taken responsibility for deploying the masked men, did not have any legal authority to deploy these men nor were they mandated by the police whose duty is to ensure law and order.

He wants Brian Acheampong to be held accountable for the actions of these men at the La Bawaleshie polling station resulting in injuries to at least six Ghanaians.

Mr Spio-Garbrah also wants the court to grant compensation to the victims of the violence that also saw an operative slap an opposition NDC MP Sam George.

Although government has set up a Commission of Inquiry into the violence, the plaintiff claims that their terms of reference does not cover some legal matters such as the power of the minister of state in charge of National Security to deploy operatives.

Ekwow Spio-Garbrah said as a potential presidential candidate for the 2020 general elections, he would not want to go into a chaotic general elections that could ignite political unrest.

He called the suit a “public spirited action for a judicial involvement in addressing unacceptable abuse of state power”.

Despite existing laws on security and public order, Ekwow Spio Garbrah wants the Attorney-General Gloria Akuffo ordered to present a bill dealing with surging political thuggery linked to violence during the recent bye-election.

The plaintiff wants the bill in place within 90 days of the court order.