The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is demanding the immediate release of religious leaders and citizens who were prosecuted for breaching the Covid-19 lockdown and restriction protocols.

This according to the party is due to the fact that delegates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) violated these same protocols in the full glare of the police during its recently held Parliamentary Primaries and yet no arrest was made.

“Nobody is above the law over here. The NPP is not above the law, so we cannot have one set of laws for the New Patriotic Party, their officials, and delegates and have a different set of laws for pastors, Imams, and citizens. This is an insult to all of us and President Akufo-Addo should be ashamed,” National Communications Officer for the party, Sammy Gyamfi said.

His call follows a similar one made by the founder of Potter’s Family Chapel, Alex Armstrong during a recorded service yesterday. The pastor had appealed to President Akufo-Addo to release jailed pastors after he cited various protocols that were ignored by the members of the governing party on Saturday.

In April this year, Head of Prosecutions for Accra Region, ACP Lydia Donkor revealed that the police had arrested a total of 406 persons who flouted guidelines on the restrictions imposed on the movement of people and social gatherings by the President.

According to her, while 103 of them were in custody, 248 have been granted bail.

On April 21, an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Afia Owusua Appiah, subsequently fined six people a total of ¢86,400 for attending a birthday party in total violation of the President’s ban on social gatherings of any sort.

Each of them was charged a fine of 1,200 penalty units (GH¢14,400) by the court or in default, the six convicts will each serve five years in prison.

There was again, heated debates on social media when the head pastor of Open Arms Ministries in Kumasi was arrested for the second time for defying the Presidential directive on public gathering.

Personnel from the Buffalo Unit picked up Apostle Kofi Nkansah Sarkodie from his church at North Suntreso during a live service which was streaming on Facebook for leading congregational worship, despite the closure of other churches.

But speaking at a weekly press update organised by the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi described these arrests and prosecutions as unfair.

According to him, the total disregard for these same protocols by delegates and members of the New Patriotic Party during their exercise which was allegedly supervised by President Akufo-Addo should result in the immediate release of citizens arrested for doing same.

“Yesterday some of us thought that the President was going to use his address to the nation to at least reprimand his party for this indisciple but he didn’t and we are saying that this is not fair.

“People have gone to prison for this and we believe that the media and all of us must hold President Akufo-Addo accountable to these same standards. Either than that, then he has no business imprisoning people in this country. We must as well release the pastors and innocent citizens who have been imprisoned as a result of the flouting of this very law

“President Akufo-Addo who also doubles at the leader of the party supervised this recklessness, lawlessness, and impunity on the part of party officials and members where these covid-19 protocols were thrown to the dogs.

“Nobody cared about social distancing, people took off their face masks in the full glare of the police. This situation by the NPP thwarts our collective fight against the spread of Covid-19,” he said.