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General News of Friday, 7 April 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

‘Sickening’ Delta Force attack cannot be tolerated – GBA

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA), has condemned a violent attack on the Kumasi Circuit Court by some youth said to be members of the New Patriotic Party-affiliated vigilante group, Delta Force.

According to the Association, the Inspector General of Police must thoroughly investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.

Some members of the group stormed the Kumasi Circuit Court on Thursday [April, 6] and freed 13 members of their group who were facing charges for causing disturbances at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council.

The group vandalized some court property, and almost assaulted the Judge, Mary Senkyere. The judge had ruled that they be remanded to reappear before the court on the 20th of April, 2017 after charges of conspiracy to assault a public officer and causing unlawful damage.

But according to a statement by the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), the act was a threat to the country’s Judiciary and must not be tolerated.

“The Ghana Bar Association is shocked and horrified at the news item and video recordings which have gone viral alleging that members of supposed “Delta Force” have attacked the Circuit Court in Kumasi earlier today after the Circuit Court presided over by Her Honour Mary Senkyere hard reportedly ordered the thirteen (13) persons who were charged with the offence on conspiracy to commit crime, assault on a public officer, causing unlawful damage and preventing a public officer from doing his lawful duty, to be remanded in custody to and re-appear on the 20th of April, 2017.”

“It is sickening and horrifying to watch the said videos of persons using violence as a means to defy the Court’s orders. The GBA condemns in no uncertain terms this blatant disregard for the orders of a duly constituted court of law and attack on the judge in the discharge of her lawful duties.

This is an affront to the independence of the Judiciary and an attack on the rule of law,” the statement said.

It added that “such glorification of violence, dastardly acts and threat to our Judiciary cannot be tolerated or allowed under our democratic dispensation. It is totally unacceptable under whatever presence to disobey orders of the court, attack or threatens to attack the person of the judge thereby endangering the peace of our country.”

The statement noted that, the incident appeared to be creating room for anarchy, chaos and lawlessness which must not be condoned.

The Ghana Bar Association, however, called on the Inspector General of Police to immediately re-arrest the 13 suspects who were freed, and be remanded in custody while a thorough investigation is launched into the incident.

“We also call on the Minister of Interior to as a matter of urgency take steps to ensure the immediate disbandment of the “Delta Force” and all other vigilante groups that have sprung up in our country.

“We call in well-meaning Ghanaians to condemn this resort to violence in flagrant disobedience to court orders,” the statement signed by GBA President Benson Nutsukpui and National secretary Justin Amenuvor further noted.

In a related development, the Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Derry, has given a strong indication that, members of the vigilante group will be arrested and brought to book.

He said other security agencies will be engaged if necessary, to clamp down on the group and ensure that justice prevails.

Speaking at an emergency press conference in Accra, Ambrose Derry warned the perpetrators that it will be in their interest to resubmit themselves to the police.

Eight Delta Force members arrested

Meanwhile, Eight members of perpetrators have been arrested by the Police. The Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Yaw Nketiah-Yeboah said the eight were arrested around the Asafo overhead close to the Prempeh Assembly Hall in the capital, Kumasi.