The police have filed an application at the High Court to prohibit the Democracy Hub, Patriotic Hub, and Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance from carrying out three separate demonstrations between December 1, 2023, and January 5, 2024.
The application follows a disagreement over the postponement of the protest and the change of venue from the forefront or around the Jubilee House.
A statement signed by Superintendent of Police Juliana Obeng, Head of Public Affairs Unit, Greater Accra, said the police had successfully served the various organisers with the court process.
The application is slated for hearing on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.
On October 11, 2023, the Greater Accra Regional Police Command received a notice to embark on a demonstration signed by Benjamin Akufo Darko (the “1st Notice”) for and on behalf of a group named “Democracy Hub”.
The statement said the first notice was to the effect that the Democracy Hub would embark on a demonstration, picketing at the forefront of the Jubilee House from 0600 hours on December 1, 2023, until 2200 hours on December 31, 2023, to demand the resignation of the President of the Republic of Ghana or his impeachment by Parliament.
On October 12, 2023, the Police Command received another notice to embark on a demonstration signed by Denis Appiah Larbi (the “2nd Notice”) for and on behalf of a group by the name of “Patriotic Hub”.
The statement said the second notice was to the effect that the Patriotic Hub would embark on a demonstration, picketing at the forefront of the Jubilee House, every 24 hours from December 1 to December 31, 2023, to call for improved living conditions for the citizenry. It said while the police assessment of the two preceding notifications was ongoing, the Police Command, on October 23, 2023, received another notice to embark on a demonstration, signed by Kwame Baffoe Abronye (the “3rd Notice”) for and on behalf of a group by name, “Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance”.
The statement said the 3rd notice was to the effect that the Patriotic Forum for Accountable Governance would embark on a procession at the forefront of the Jubilee House from 0800 hours to 1900 hours each day from December 1, 2023, to January 5, 2024, to express their heartfelt appreciation to the President of Ghana for sustaining the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic and setting the nation on a path of economic recovery.
It said the Police Command undertook a security threat assessment of the proposed common destination, overlapping timelines, and conflicting objectives for the three planned demonstrations.
The statement said that per the assessment, it was determined that the three special events, if held around or at the forefront of the Jubilee House and at the given timelines, especially around the Christmas and New Year festivities, may endanger public safety, public defence, public order, the running and delivery of essential services, and violate the rights and freedoms of other persons, among others.
It said accordingly that the Police Command had engaged the organisers for the three groups and conveyed the security challenges and concerns to them.
The statement said the Police Command also indicated its inability to provide security for the three groups to hold their respective special events lasting over 31 days due to the Command’s operational and security engagements during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
The Police, therefore, urged the organisers, in the interest of public safety, public defence, and public order, among others, to postpone the holding of their respective special events to any date after January 5, 2024, within which period the Command would be able to provide the demonstrators with adequate security.
The police also advised that they chose different locations for the demonstrations.
The statement said the organisers disagreed with the Police Command’s request to postpone the demonstrations to any date after January 5, 2024.
They also disagreed with the police on the location and insisted on holding special events around or at the forefront of the Jubilee House.
It said that considering the disagreement on the matter and the worrisome situation of three different groups intending to demonstrate at the same place within the same time frame and having conflicting objectives, the Police Command, acting in accordance with the Public Order Act, resolved to refer the issue to the appropriate institution to settle the disagreements and provide direction to the police as well as the various organisers.
The statement assured the public that the police remained committed to nurturing Ghana’s growing democratic freedoms by providing the necessary security for individuals and groups as they exercised their constitutional right to protest safely and peacefully in accordance with the laws governing protests.