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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Police blocks #FixTheCountry demo with court injunction

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The Ghana Police Service has secured a restraining order from the High Court against an intended street protest by some Ghanaians to register their dissatisfaction about the current state of affairs in the country. The planned protest, which has been slated for the 9th of March, can no longer hold in the light of the recent orders of the court.

In a release issued by the Ghana Police Service, and undersigned by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP Effia Tenge, the police drew the attention of the public and the organisers of the protest to the orders of the court, and urged them to halt their plans until the ban on public gathering is finally lifted.

The restraining order from the High Court, presided by Justice Ruby Aryeetey was granted after the Ghana Police Service filed an affidavit against the conveners of the #FixTheCountry march; pursuant to Section 1 (6) of the Public Order Act, 1994 (491).

The Court then heard the ex-parte application and gave ruling in favour of the Ghana Police Service; a ruling which effectively bars the organisers from proceeding with their intended street protest.

A copy of the news release from the Ghana Police Service, announcing the High Court’s restraining order against theĀ  #FixTheCountry protest march.

Background

Beginning from the 2nd of May this year, scores of Ghanaians poured out to social media to express their revulsion about the current state of affairs in the country.

The lamented the increasing cost of living, the hike in fuel prices, and the depleting state of the economy amongst others. The youth-led advocacy, which was hashtagged #FixTheCountryNow, gained massive patronage; with thousands of social media users joining the spirited online campaign.

The campaigners further highlighted issues such as the erratic power supply (dumsor), corruption, bribery, unemployment, injustice, insecurity, and other pertinent challenges as matters that require prompt attention from the government.

In the wake of the growing agitations, a group of Ghanaians conveyed their decision to organise a mass street protest against the hardship in the country. The organisers subsequently wrote to the Ghana Police Service, notifying them of their planned street march. In response, the Ghana Police Service acknowledged the letter and reminded the protesters of the existing laws on public gathering.

But having stated in their letter that the protest will be with recourse to all the necessary COVID-19 protocols, the organisers decided to carry out the protest nonetheless. Today’s injunction from the High Court however restrains the protesters from their planned actions.

Some legal practitioners have however criticised the court for granting the ex-parte application by the Ghana Police Service. According to them, there are existing judgements that discourage the hearing of ex-parte motions involving such cases, and hence the court erred in granting the restraining order.

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