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Opinions of Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

DCOP Kofi Boakye Police's Intransigent Involvement in .....

.....Kumawu Chieftaincy Dispute Culminates in Court Cases?

The overt intransigence and collusive involvement of Deputy Commissioner of Police Nathan Kofi Boakye and his police in the ongoing Kumawu chieftaincy dispute leaves any intelligent and honest person astounded. The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Alhassan (IGP), has made it clear that it is not the duty of the police to keenly involve themselves in chieftaincy disputes, let alone, taking biased or lopsided stance in such matters.

However, DCOP Kofi Boakye conducts himself as though he is not under any law, or subject to any specific police regulation or ethical culture in Ghana. He thinks he is a law unto himself; can do as he wants when he wants. Trust me; he is only living in the figment of his imagination with regard to his attitude to, and involvement in, the Kumawu chieftaincy dispute.

He has been marshalling his police personnel against Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V and his elders probably at the behest of the alleged Asantehene-imposed Kumawuhene, Barimah Sarfo Tweneboah Koduah (otherwise known in private life as Dr Yaw Sarfo). I have already published a true copy form of Dr Yaw Sarfo's letter sent to DCOP Kofi Boakye in this regard.

He has not only been harassing and intimidating Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V and his elders, but also, been bombarding them with summons to court.

All those interested in the unfolding issues about the Kumawu stool dispute are already hopefully aware of DCOP Kofi Boakye police ransacking and destroying personal effects belonging to the alleged destooled Kumawu Aduanahene and Kumawu Akwamuhene. Subsequently, Aduanahene and Akwamuhene have brought a lawsuit against him for ordering his police personnel or force to conduct themselves in such an unprofessional manner very tantamount to abuse of their basic human rights. They went to their homes without any search warrant issued by any judge against them. The mentioned individuals had not committed any crime against the State or against any citizen of Ghana or any foreign citizen, yet the police brutally forced themselves into their homes to destroy and remove their properties. The IGP is aware of this sad occurrence, an illegality perpetrated by the Kofi Boakye police against innocent citizens of Kumawu.

While there is a pendency of arraignment on charges of illegal entry, destruction and removal of properties, from their homes, and threats to their lives, against Kofi Boakye at an Ashanti-Mampong court, he, Kofi Boakye and his police, have since faked two counter-suits against the plaintiffs.

The first of such spurious lawsuits was filed at Asante-Effiduase court. On the day of the hearing of the case, the judge discovered there was nothing like a document of charges preferred against Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V and his elders in the file. Neither any police nor their lawyer nor their representative prosecutor from the Attorney General's department was in court. The judge threw out the case.

The second time was just last Thursday, 28 May 2015 when the police had served notice of criminal summons on Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V and his elders to appear before a Kumasi judge charged with breach of Public Act 491. They were accused of not notifying the police about Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V's enstoolment and his subsequent celebration of "Akwasidae" on 18 January 2015. That is the crux of the matter hence their crime.

When they went on Thursday 28 May 2015, there was nothing in any of the Kumasi courts of pendency of criminal charge or whatsoever preferred against them. However, the Kumasi Regional Crime Police Officer, the Effiduase Divisional Crime Police Officer and the Kumawu District Police Commander in what may be "The Three Musketeers", had themselves served the notice on "Nananom". The judge was marvelled at there being nothing filed against "Nananom" by the police as contrarily made them believe by the police. He had to ask "Nananom" to go as there was nothing against them.

Why should the Kofi Boakye police do that to waste the court and "Nananom's" time? Are they not discriminating, harassing and intimidating "Nananom?" On this occasion also, neither the police nor their representative from the Attorney General's department/Public Prosecution Service attended court. This is the second time that they have made fool of not only "Nananom", but also, the courts.

As I shall be elaborating on this despicable character by the police in my future writings, let me end here with the reproduction of Act 491 as mentioned earlier. I have more questions to ask referring to Act 491 and how it relates to the circumstances of "Nananom" but I will reserve them for later.

"Ghana Legal - Laws Cases Directory

PUBLIC ORDER ACT - 1994 (ACT 491) Section - 1 - Notification to Police of Special of Event.

(1) Any person who desires to hold any special event within the meaning of this Act in any public place shall notify the police of his intention not less than 5 days before the date of the special event.

(2) The notification shall be in writing and signed by or on behalf of the organisers of the special event and shall specify-

(a) the place and hour of the special event,

(b) the nature of the special event;

(c) the time of commencement;

(d) the proposed route and destination, if any; and

(e) proposed time of closure of the event.

(3) The notification shall be submitted to a police officer not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police or other police officer responsible for the nearest police station to the location of the proposed special event.

(4) Where a police officer notified of a special event under subsection (1) has reasonable grounds to believe that the special event if held may lead to violence or endanger public defence, public order, public safety, public health or the running of essential services or violate the rights and freedoms of other persons, he may request the organisers to postpone the special event to any other date or to the relocate the special event.

(5) An organiser requested under subsection (4) to postpone or relocate the holding of a special ever shall within forty-eight hours of the request, notify the police officer in writing of his willingness to comply.

(6) Where the organisers refuse to comply with the request under subsection (4) or fail to notify the police officer in accordance with subsection (5), the police officer may apply to any judge or a chairman of a Tribunal for an order to prohibit the holding of the special event on the proposed date or at the proposed location.

(7) The judge or chairman may make such order as he considers to be reasonably required in the interest of defence, public order, public safety, public health, the running of essential services or to prevent violation of the rights and freedoms of other persons

PUBLIC ORDER ACT - 1994 (ACT 491)

Section - 2 - Control of Routes and Crowds.

(1) It shall be the responsibility of every police officer to take all such steps as are reasonably necessary in any public place-

(a) to assist in the proper conduct of any special event by directing the routes of such event to prevent obstruction of pedestrian or vehicular traffic; (b) to disperse crowds at any special event where he has reasonable grounds to believe that a breach of the peace is likely to occur or if any breach of the peace has occurred or is occurring in order to prevent violence, restore order and preserve the peace. (2) The Police officer III charge of an area of a special event may cause to be closed such streets or parts thereof to pedestrian or vehicular traffic or both and may cause to be erected such barriers as may be necessary to preserve public order.

PUBLIC ORDER ACT - 1994 (ACT 491)

Section - 3 - Responsibility of Organisers and Other Persons.

(1) Where at any special event any damage is caused to any public property, the organisers, or any other persons found to have been responsible for the damage caused shall be liable to pay for the cost of the damage.

(2) Any person taking part in a special event shall obey the directions of police officers safeguarding the proper movement of other persons and vehicles and generally maintain order.

(3) Any person taking part in a special event shall conduct himself in such a manner as to avoid causing obstruction of traffic, confusion or disorder.

Section - 9 - Offence and Penalties

Any person who-

(a) fails to notify the police of any special event contrary to section (1); or

(b) fails to inform the police of his unwillingness to comply with a request contrary to section 1 (5); or

(c) takes part in any special event knowing that no notification has been given to the police; or

(d) acts contrary to a curfew imposed under this Act; or

(e) manufactures, possesses or carries arms or ammunition contrary to a prohibition imposed under this Act; or

(f) acts contrary to any provision in section 3 commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding c2 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 year or to both.

PUBLIC ORDER ACT - 1994 (ACT 491)

Section - 10 - Interpretation

In this Act unless the context otherwise requires-

"organisers" means the person or persons who signed the notification provided for under section 1(2) or on whose behalf the notification was signed;

"public place" means a place to which, at the material time, the public have or are permitted to have access whether on payment or otherwise;

"special event" means procession, parade, carnival, street dance celebration of traditional custom, outdooring of traditional ruler, demonstration, public meeting and similar event but does not include-

(a) religious meeting;

(b) charitable, social or sporting gathering;

(c) any lawful public entertainment or meeting".

Rockson Adofo