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General News of Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

31 drivers arrested for protesting over poor roads granted bail

The Agona Swedru District Magistrate Court has granted bail with two surety each to the 31 drivers who were arrested after the November 4 protest at Agona Swedru where they blocked sections of the road.

The drivers are to appear in court on December 12.

Speaking to Citi News, the lawyer for 31 accused persons, Edu Yeboah explained that the misdemeanor charges were the reason the bail plea was successful.

Thirty of the drivers have been charged with rioting together with one other who was charged separately for rioting.

Mr. Yeboah questioned the reasoning behind the separate rioting charge to the solitary driver who is said to have caused disturbances along with two other persons.

“I don’t think anybody has a problem with charging 30 people for rioting. But if you charge one person that was in the company of two-person and the two have absconded and you charge that single person for rioting. One person doesn’t riot. One person can cause damage but one person doesn’t riot.”

The protest, that led to the arrests, was over the bad state of their roads.

The demonstrators blocked the access roads, making it difficult for pedestrians to cross the stretch that connects Swedru and Winneba through to Bawjiase.

The protestors who were expected to present a petition to the Regional Coordinating Council could not do so because the police arrested some of their members describing the protest as illegal.

At the time, the National Democratic Congress in the area gave the government a 24-hour ultimatum to release the drivers because the arrest, according to the party, was unfair.