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General News of Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Source: Myjoyonline.com

LMVCA demo: Lawyer slams Police tactics

A private legal practitioner has launched a gun scatter attack at the police accusing them of abusing the court processes in the case of the Let My Vote Count Alliance picketing.

Samson Lardy Anyenini told Joy News the decision by the police to go before another judge, ex-parte on the same case was “in utmost bad faith and in flagrant abuse of the court process."

"The police by their action are making a mockery of the democratic process," he said.

Background

The Police had secured a restraining order, ex-parte (without notice to the opposing counsel) to prevent members of the Let My Vote Count Alliance from embarking on a second demonstration to demand a new voters' register.

A first demonstration held by the same group turned violent with alleged cases of police brutality against the demonstrators.

The organisers of the demonstration proceeded to court to overturn the restraining order by the police and were given the clearance by the Circuit Court to embark on the demonstration set for Tuesday, 29 September, 2015.

The judge told them the restraining order granted to the police had elapsed and nothing stopped them from going ahead with their picketing at the Electoral Commission.

Unknown to the judge and to the picketers the police had gone before another circuit court, ex parte, knowing too well the first one they acquired had expired.

They told the judge, Jennifer Annie Myers Ahmed that they have intelligence some criminal elements would attack police personnel on national duties.

They cited the shooting to death of a police officer in Ho and prayed the court to grant the indefinite injunction of the picketers to go on the demonstration
The judge then granted their application to stop members of the Let My Vote Count Alliance from embarking on their demonstration tomorrow.

That decision has since been criticised by the organisers of the demonstration as well as the Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.

But Lawyer Samson Anyenini said the police deceived the court and the officer in question must be brought back to face punitive measures, he told myjoyonline.com.

Explaining how the law works under such circumstances, the lawyer said "a repeat of an ex parte application ahead of the expiry of an earlier must be made on notice to the respondent.

"It's shameful the way they obviously deceived this court. It's not for nothing that the court which granted the earlier application told them they could come back but only on notice to the LMVCA," he said.

Samson Anyenini does not understand why the police failed to disclose to the judge there had been a previous ex parte granted on the same issue.

He said the police were clear in their minds that the same judge will throw the case away if they went before her and so decided to go before a different judge.
"This is condemnable and must not be entertained," he said.

He believes the action of the police could undermine, not just the authority of the court but the police institution as well.

Samson Lardy Anyenini however does not support a blanket criticism of the judge and the judiciary saying the police deceived the court and the judge involved.