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Barker-Vormawor’s arrest: Cambridge University has put Ghana to utter shame – Kwaku Azar

Oliver Barker Vormawor And Cambridge University Logo Cambridge University has released a statement on the arrest of its PhD student, Barker-Vormawor

Fri, 18 Mar 2022 Source:

#FixTheCountry convener arrested at Kotoka

Barker-Vormawor charged with treason felony

Court grants activist bail

US-based Ghanaian lawyer and scholar, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare (Kwaku Azar), has stated that the University of Cambridge exposed Ghana’s legal system and justice delivery, in its recent statement on the arrest and detention of #FixTheCountry convener, Oliver Mawusi Barker-Vormawor.

The United Kingdom-based university, in a notice issued on its website on Thursday, March 17, 2022, expressed concern about the wellbeing of the embattled youth movement convener who is a PhD student at the university.

Reacting to the university’s statement in a Facebook post, Prof Azar has said that the school, by expressing concern about constitutional breaches in the case of the activist, exposed Ghana’s legal regime and its institutions.

“Cambridge spoke and in doing so exposed not just our justice system, but more importantly, our legal profession, GBA, law faculties, professional association, NUGS, TUC, Nananom, Yaanom, etc.

“We may have gotten rid of the PDA, one party state, military regimes, etc. but our institutions retain their illiberal character and we have not developed effective antidotes to match that character,” Prof Asare said.

Pointing out a flaw in Ghana’s constitutional practice, Prof Asare added that “Cambridge has put us to utter shame and exposed our liberal fundamentals. We may be operating under a Constitution but it has not been able to curtail the spirit of Akoto.”

Cambridge in its release said it had learned through Oliver’s legal team and confirmed from independent sources that there have been breaches of due process in the treatment of their student by the state.

“Oliver's legal team in Ghana have warned that there have been breaches of due process in his treatment. This has been confirmed by other independent sources,” the school said.

In view of that, the university said that it has, through its Vice-Chancellor, reached out to Ghanaian authorities and have requested the rule of law be applied to their student.

“The Vice-Chancellor has written to Ghanaian authorities to express his concern for Oliver’s welfare, requesting that the rule of law be applied and that Oliver be granted access to a fair trial,” the notice said.

Barker-Vormawor who is a PhD candidate in the English university was arrested by Ghanaian security officials after he had arrived in the country at the Kotoka International Airport on February 11, 2022.

He was charged with treason felony and has since been going through court processes for his trial.

For 34 days, the activist stayed in the custody of the police after he was charged in relation to a Facebook post.

The Police in a statement on his arrest said Barker-Vormawor, through his post in which he threatened to “do the coup” himself if Parliament passed the proposed E-Levy into law, had showed a clear intent to usurp Ghana’s democratically elected government and Constitution.

A Tema High Court on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, granted him bail after his lawyers had filed an application in response to the failure of a magistrate court to grant him a bail.

His next court appearance is set to be on March 29, 2022, at the Ashaiman District Court where the state has commenced committal processes for his prosecution.


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