An Accra High Court yesterday ordered organisers of the ‘Arise Ghana’ protest to organise their demonstration between the hours of 8am to 4pm.
They had informed the Police that they would start their demonstration at 3pm and end at 10pm.
The court also directed that the protest should commence at the Obra Spot, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Accra, and end at the Independence Square, also in Accra.
The directive of the High Court followed a case filed by the Ghana Police Service seeking to halt the two-day protest, which is set to commence today.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Sylvester Asare yesterday pleaded with the court to adjourn the matter for two days since the Police Service was yet to receive documents filed by the protestors.
Counsel for the protestors, Godwin Tameklo, however, accused the Police of bad faith, and urged the court to reject the proposal of the police. He argued that “extensive adjournment of the matter would mean putting the protest on hold”.
He told the court that the group informed the Police of the demonstration somewhere early June so they did not understand why the police would delay processing it.
Presiding, Justice Comfort Tasiame, after hearing both sides, adjourned proceedings for a short while to enable the Police to study the documents.
After the court had resumed sitting, DSP Asare further asked for an adjournment with the view that the Police still needed more time to study the documents.
But counsel for respondents, Mr Tameklo, urged the court to dismiss the application, arguing that granting the request would empower the Police to use such processes to frustrate the rights of citizens to protest in future.
Justice Comfort Tasiame’s court subsequently refused the request by the Police, and directed that lawyers for the Service justify why the protest should be halted.
The court also granted the request by the Police partially by fixing the said timelines and routes for the protestors to comply.
“The proposed timelines as put forward by the protestors have the potential to affect effective policing,” DSP Asare told the court.
He made that submission on the basis that the Police was asking for a restraining order.
Counsel Godwin Tameklo, however, insisted that the Police had no power under the law to determine at which time a protest should take place.
He said the organisers had initially wanted to stage a 48-hour non-stop protest, but later conceded to end at 3pm and 5pm on day one and two respectively.
The ‘Arise Ghana’ group is to protest “persistent and astronomical hikes in fuel prices” and their attendant “excruciating economic hardships on Ghanaians” and the ‘imposition’ of E-Levy on citizens. Additionally, it accuses government of supervising grabbing of state lands by officials as well as de-classification of huge portions of the Achimota Forest reserve.
It is also in protest against increased “police brutalities and state-sponsored killing of innocent Ghanaians”, apart from demanding a full scale and bi-partisan parliamentary probe into COVID-19 expenditures and the Agyapa deal.