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Politics of Sunday, 20 December 2020


It’s naive to tell NDC demonstrators to go court – Martin Kpebu

Legal Luminary, Martin Kpebu Legal Luminary, Martin Kpebu

Executive Director of Human Rights and Governance Centre, Martin Kpebu, has chided persons urging the largest opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), and its supporters to go to court to seek redress on the results of the December 7 elections instead of embarking on nationwide demonstrations.

According to him, persons making such statements are naive of the law as the protesters have the constitutional right to hit the streets to demonstrate.

He highlighted that these 'naysayers' cannot determine what means the NDC uses to prosecute their case as going to court isn't the only option.

“I’ve heard people say they should stop demonstrations and go to court, that’s a very naïve statement. You can’t determine for them how they want to prosecute their case. It’s normal that before you go to court in such case, you seek to caught public sympathy, throw out some things in the public, begin to psych up people in your favour so when I hear that I’m like…do we really understand how electoral psychology works?” he said on Citi TV's ‘Big Issue’ on Saturday.

The legal practitioner indicated that though the protesters faulted by not consulting the police ahead of their demonstrations, the police are still mandated to protect them as well as prevent any chaotic scene.

“It’s their constitutional right to demonstrate and so we must do everything within our resources to protect them and afford them that chance. Let no one gag them when they protest so the main thing we should watch out for is everything it will take to prevent the violence because when they protest, at least they kind of venting their spree and after that then we have peace but if you seek to gag them, the energy may explode in another form so for me, any day, just afford them the opportunity.”

Some NDC supporters over the week embarked on demonstrations across the country. The mammoth demonstrations caused heavy vehicular traffic especially in the nation's capital, Accra.

In Accra, the demonstrators burnt tyres as well as pelted stones at the security personnel present.

The police, however, managed to disperse the crowd using a non-lethal riot control management approach and water cannons.

About 30 protesters who were arrested during the demonstration at the premises of the Electoral Commission Thursday have been granted GH¢100,000 bail with one surety each after facing an Accra High Court.