The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has been released.
He was arrested by the police Tuesday evening after failing to honour an invitation by to report to the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID)
The purpose was for him to assist in investigations into the recent spate of kidnappings and arson in the country.
According to the correspondence inviting him, a suspect accused him of being behind the kidnappings in the country, a situation which informed the police to invite him to assist with their investigations.
But the Chairman declined the invitation. His lawyers described the invitation as “political harassment” and “intimidation.”
Video: Some supporters of the party jubilated after Mr Ofosu Ampofo’s release
NDC dares police
On Monday, a warrant was issued for Mr Ampofo’s arrest but members of his party have vowed to support their Chairman and will resist any attempts to arrest him.
During the party’s 27th anniversary celebrations, Greater Accra Chairman of the party, Joseph Ade Coker dared the police to go ahead with what he says is an attempt to intimidate Mr Ofosu Ampofo.
He said: “We all know what is happening in this country and we are waiting for anybody who thinks that he will come and do something that is untoward…he will see the might of NDC.
“I am positive that in the days coming all of us will marshal ourselves and make sure that we show the might of NDC. I think for a long time we’ve become very dormant so it’s about time we bare our teeth,” he said.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo is already standing trial for conspiracy to assault a public officer and conspiracy to cause harm after he was secretly recorded allegedly outlining plans to cause mayhem.
General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia told reporters soon after the Chairman was released, there had been an attempt by government to intimidate and frustrate the activities of the NDC by the arrest but has failed.
“They’ve asked all the questions they wanted answers for. They have searched the premises of our national chairman as evidence, they have taken all his communication gadgets and we have offered to give them the password because we don’t have anything to hide.
“And so based on that he has been granted bail,” he added.
The Chairman is to report to the police headquarters on Thursday, June 13.
Following his arrest, NDC MP, James Agalga in an interview on The Pulse on Joy News said the arrest is an irresponsible move and an attempt to intimidate and harass the NDC.
“We will not allow ourselves to be intimidated or harassed,” he told Gifty Andoh Appiah.
He believes the Chairman’s rights are being trampled upon and questioned why the police will not allow the case in court to end before inviting him to assist in investigations for a kidnapping case they had already dropped.
In Mr Agalaga’s view, government is trying to blame the state of insecurity in the country on the innocent Chairman.
“We will not countenance that, the National Chairman has rights and he is in court…if they feel they have uncovered fresh evidence, let them amend their charge sheet.
“But they cannot continue to use the state apparatus the way they are trying to use it….to harass and intimidate our Chairman,” he added.
According to Mr Agalaga, the Chairman’s arrest will only heighten the state of insecurity in the country.
Below is a leaked tape in which Mr Ofosu Ampofo is heard inciting supporters of the NDC to create deliberate clashes with the police.
Reactions have been pouring in since the arrest.
Reporting from the CID headquarters, Joy News’ Parker Wilson said Mr Ofosu Ampofo is “currently in the interrogation room with his lawyers including Tony Luthur.
They are taking his statement and the reporter said he is likely to be arraigned before the court on Wednesday.
Party loyalist are yet to thronged the CID Headquarters even though senior party members like the General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia are already at the premises where security has been beefed-up.
The police must not create an atmosphere of insecurity
On his part, a retired Superintendent of Police has called for a measured approach in handling such a sensitive case involving the National Chairman of a major political party.
“The police are supposed to create an atmosphere of law and order but if the NDC believes this is an attempt to create insecurity then this is unacceptable,” Peter Toobu said.
“The police must respect the principle of impartiality. I do hope that as early as possible they will send him to court and I do hope that their evidence is ready,” he advised.
“I don’t want to believe that the police is being manipulated,” he added.