The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has initiated a legal process to reverse a court order preventing the party from embarking on a demonstration against corruption in the country.
Currently, the legal team of the party has commenced proceedings at the Circuit Court in Accra and promised to fight even up to the Supreme Court to stop the police from unnecessarily preventing Ghanaians from embarking on demonstrations.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the General Secretary of the PPP, Mr SiawAsamoah, noted that the party was ready to fight the issue even to the Supreme Court for a better interpretation of the constitutional rights of Ghanaians to demonstrate.
He argued that under the guise of the Public Order Act, the police, with the support of some lower courts, had, over the years, prevented Ghanaians from exercising their right to demonstrate with some untenable excuses.
As the Public Order Act requires, the PPP wrote to the Ghana Police Service, informing it about the party’s intention to embark on an anti-corruption demonstration.
But the police, in a reply dated – August 27,2013, asked the PPP to reschedule the action to another period.
“We are unable to provide you with the needed police protection due to the ban on all public demonstrations by the National Security earlier this year, which is still in force. The police can only provide you with the needed security after the lifting of the ban,” the police stated.
Consequent to that, the party threatened that it would go ahead with the demonstration, but the police sought a court order to restrain it from demonstrating.
The Public Order Act 1994 (Act 491) (1) states, “Any person who desires to hold any special event within the meaning of this act in any public place shall notify the police of his intention not less than 5 days before the date of the special event.”
The acts states that the police officer may ask the organisers to reschedule a special event and if they refuse “to comply with the request under Subsection (4) or fail to notify the police officer in accordance with Subsection (5), the police officer may apply to any judge or a chairman of a tribunal for an order to prohibit the holding of the special event on the proposed date or at the proposed location”.
Mr Asamoah explained that the legal team was prepared to move quickly to the Human Rights Division of the High Court should the circuit court refuse to revoke the restraining order which prevented the party from holding the demonstration.
He said the PPP had prepared its legal to team to seek proper interpretation of the law at the Supreme Court to ensure that the police and the lower courts upheld the democratic rights of Ghanaians to demonstrate.