The Ghana Police Service is to provide “maximum security” at the various courts across the country following last Thursday’s attack on a Circuit Court in Kumasi that led to the escape of 13 accused persons.
A group of people belonging to the New Patriotic Party’s vigilante group, Delta Force stormed the court, threatened the judge who had remanded 13 of their members being tried for assault and freed them from justice.
Police in the Ashanti Region consequently issued warrant for their arrest forcing the 13 fugitives to turn themselves in for arrest. The Police say they will be given additional charges for their escape.
The criminal act which has received widely condemnation and renewed calls for political vigilante groups to be disbanded forced the country’s judges and magistrates to demand protection at their duty posts.
At a news conference in Accra Friday, the judges and magistrates together with their staffcalled for all court premises to be declared flashpoints and given maximum security protection at all times.
They premised their call on the fact that “criminal trials [at the courts] have the potential of emitting violence.
“We call on the government, particularly the Police hierarchy, as a matter of urgency, to take all necessary steps to allay the worries, fears and anxiety of all judges and magistrates in the region,” the judges and the entire judicial staff said.
Responding to the calls, the Inspector General of Police, David Asante Appeatu on Saturday said the Police was reworking its strategy with the view to among others address security encumbrances in the country’s courts and other public facilities.
“The Police Administration will like to assure the judiciary, that it will provide maximum security to ensure their safety at all times,” Mr Asante Appeatu assured.
He condemned the violent act of the group, saying “The incident is unfortunate, reprehensible, un-Ghanaian and the Police service wishes to condemn it in no uncertain terms. Fortunately, all the 13accused persons have been re-arrested and are currently on remand in prison custody,”
Members of the Delta Force in March assaulted President Akufo-Addo’s newly-appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei who they said did not contribute to the victory of the party, hence cannot work with him.
The action was condemned, pushing the Police in the Ashanti Region to act by arresting 13 of the group members believed to be mastermind of the criminal act.
The arrested were subsequently arraigned on assault charges at a Kumasi Circuit Court last Thursday but some other members of the group who were not happy with the court’s decision to remand them threatened the judge, caused destruction to property and freed the 13 accused persons.
Eight members of the group whose action led to the escape of the 13 were later arrested by the Police. A warrant was issued for the arrest of the 13 fugitives who later turned themselves in to the police and were re-arrested and remanded in prison custody.
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