General News of Tuesday, 9 October 2018
The Tafo-Pankrono Divisional Police Command has picked up two persons allegedly connected to the disturbances which took place during a New Patriotic Party (NPP) constituency meeting at Tafo.
The two are 49-year-old Paul Attah Onyinah, and 51-year-old Richard Yaw, who are both members of pro-NPP vigilante group, Delta Force in the Tafo-Pankrono constituency.
The men are suspected to be part of aggrieved Delta Force members who disrupted a meeting of constituency executives chaired by the Member of Parliament for that constituency, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei over the weekend.
Reports say the group wanted to physically assault the MP who doubles as Monitoring and Evaluation Minister over failed election promises before the 2016 general elections.
The MP, was however assisted to escape unhurt.
The suspects have been transferred to the Ashanti Regional Police headquarters for further investigations.
According to police, three other members are on the run.
Citi News sources say the suspects have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime, to wit rioting and rioting, and will soon be arraigned.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has condemned the incident, saying that activities of the Delta Force, and other similar vigilante groups in the country, pose a serious threat to the country’s peace and security.
Addressing journalists on the matter on Monday, the Chairperson of the NCCE, Josephine Nkrumah, called on the government ensure that the culprits are duly punished.
“Political party vigilantes have no space in Ghana’s democratic culture. The NCCE expresses it repulsion at confirmed reports of self-styled leaders of vigilante group Delta Force, associated with the ruling political party, the NPP striking again…. Delta Force hoodlums have become notorious for the use of force and violence in total disregard for law and order,” it said.
But the Deputy General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Nana Obiri Boahen, believes that the media has exaggerated the alleged attack, describing it as nothing serious.
“Let’s be very honest, and this is a very simple issue. Party constituency executives holding a meeting and party activists have misconducted themselves. We all condemn it unreservedly, but the press has blown it out of proportion creating the impression that that constituency and for that matter, members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are lawless,” he said.
Delta Force emboldened by lenient punishment in Kumasi court attack – NCCE Boss
The NCCE boss has also suggested that the punishment handed to members of pro-NPP group, Delta Force, following their attack on the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator in 2017, and the subsequent storming of the court to free their colleagues, was not severe enough to deter other persons from perpetrating similar acts.
13 members of the group who stormed the office of the Regional Security Coordinator, were fined GHc 1,800 each after they pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit crime and rioting at the Asokwa District Court in Kumasi.
They also signed a bond to be of good behaviour for 12 months, after their lawyer had pleaded for a non-custodial sentence for them.
“There should be prosecution that is deterrent, not prosecution where you fine somebody GHc1, 300 for obstructing the course of justice. I thought that [the punishment was not deterrent enough]. I think that perhaps we should have seen some incarceration. I think that if we had seen fines, the fines should have been significant. There’s a range of fines, there’s the minimum and maximum but I don’t believe that they received the maximum for what they did.”