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General News of Monday, 21 December 2020

Source: classfmonline.com

Market fire arrest 'intimidation' targeted at Otokunor – Driver's lawyer

Legal practitioner, Lawyer Victor Kojogah Adawudu Legal practitioner, Lawyer Victor Kojogah Adawudu

Kojoga Adawudu, the lawyer for the driver of the Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said the arrest of his client by the National Intelligence Bureau is part of the intimidation ploy targeted at his client’s boss, Mr Peter Otokunor.

The NIB arrested the chauffeur in connection with the recent spate of market fires.

Within the past few weeks, the Odawna market at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, Kantamanto market in the Central Business District, Kaneshie market in Accra and Koforidua market have been burnt.

Meanwhile, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the NDC of being behind the market fires.

In a statement signed by the General Secretary of the NPP, Mr John Boadu said the party has “noted with grave concerns and revulsion, the increasing spate of market fires being experienced across the country in recent times”.

“The sheer rampancy and coincidence with which the markets are burning, coupled with the constant threats by some elements of the opposition to burn markets in order to drum home their concerns over the outcome of the 2020 general elections, leaves no lingering doubt that they are behind these arson attacks,” the statement said.

The party said the police must arrest all those involved and make them face the full rigours of the law.

“While commending the police for arresting one of the suspected arsonists behind the Kantamanto fire outbreak by name, Daniel Dah Kormlah, who had been identified as an active member of the opposition NDC, we also implore the police to immediately arrest Daniel Tee together with all his accomplices and make them face the full rigours of the law.”

The suspect’s lawyer told journalists on Monday, 21 December 2020 that his attempts to have access to his client have been frustrated by the NIB.

“You are denying the lawyer access”, he complained, adding: “I see all this to intimidate the NDC people because his boss, Peter Otokunor, has been vocal in this matters, so, if they pick something from him and come and say that: ‘Yes, we picked a gun, we picked this, and it was his boss who gave it to him’, it is all an act of intimidation.”

He noted: “They have everything they want to do to intimidate us and we will not be intimidated”.

In his view, “a crime is a crime” and, so, “if he’s committed a crime, why not?”

“So, tell us that it is this crime he’s committed; why don’t you want us to have access to him? And if it’s a crime, we would go through the process, if he’s found guilty, he will pay the price for it but why don’t you want to give us information and have access to him?”

Mr Adawudu said the behaviour of the security operatives could exacerbate the already-tensed atmosphere in the country.

“We are in times that are not normal, times that tension is rising. Look, I’ve been saying that the security agencies, they should be careful; they would do one day and spark that would ignite the already [tensed situation].

“People are already angry, they should not do things like they used to do and thinking ‘we have the power’. It is not right and if you are calling for peace, you preach peace and in private you do the otherwise,” he said.

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