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Oliver Barker’s arrest 1 month on – Everything you need to know

Oliver Barker Vormawor Cuffs #FixTheCountry Movement convenor, Oliver Barker-Vormawor

Mon, 14 Mar 2022 Source:

Barker-Vormawor was first arraigned in court on February 14, 2022

Bail must be granted if trial will be prolonged - SC

Bail hearing at high court has been adjourned to Wednesday

It has been a month since #FixTheCountry Movement convenor, Oliver Barker-Vormawor was arraigned in court after his arrest on February 11, 2022, for a coup post he shared on Facebook.

Barker-Vormawor, reacting to audio-visuals of the Majority Leader of Parliament cutting an E-Levy cake on Facebook said that he will organise a coup in the country if Parliament passes the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy).

The Supreme Court in the Awayevu v the Republic case explained that in cases where a person detained for an alleged crime cannot be prosecuted within a reasonable time frame, “the duty to grant bail arising in such situations remains applicable irrespective of the nature of the offence”, in line with Article 14(4) of the 1992 Constitution.

Since his arrest, the convener is reported to have raised concerns about being detained under very poor conditions. Many Ghanaians including Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Prof. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, have bemoaned the decision of the state to keep the #FixTheCountry Movement convener in jail.

According to Prempeh, the government keeping Oliver Barker-Vormawor behind bars without bail is an abuse of Ghana’s law and sets a dangerous precedent.

GhanaWeb looks at the series of activities that have transpired since the arrest of the convener:

Barker-Vormawor's arrest

The Ghana Police Service on February 12, 2022, confirmed it had arrested Barker-Vormawor after members of #FixTheCountry Movement announced their convener had been abducted at the Kotoka International Airport on February 11, 2022.

“Mr. Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor has been arrested by the Tema Regional Police Command following a post he allegedly made on a social media platform to the effect that he would stage a coup himself if the E-levy Bill is passed by Parliament.

"The post contained a clear statement of intent with a possible will to execute a coup in his declaration of intent to subvert the constitution of the Republic of Ghana. He will be arraigned before court on Monday, February 14, 2022,” a statement by the police read.

First appearance in court

On February 14, 2022 the judge who presided over the case when Barker-Vormawor was first arraigned in court, Her Honour Eleanor Barnes, stated that the district court has no jurisdiction to grant him a bail due to the nature of the crime (felony treason) he was charged with and remanded him for two weeks.

Second appearance in court

In his next appearance in court on February 28, 2022, the #FixtheCountry convener was retained for another two weeks with the presiding judge of the Ashaiman District Court, Her Honour Eleanor Barnes, again explaining that the court did not have the power to hear his bail and urged his lawyers to repeat the bail application at the High Court.

Lawyers of Barker-Vormawor file suit in at Supreme Court

The lawyers filed a lawsuit at the Supreme Court against the Attorney General and Inspector General of Police for their decision to prosecute Barker-Vormawor at a district court which they knew doesn’t have the power to grant him bail.

The lawyers, however, withdrew their application for a judicial review following the advice of the Supreme Court and filed a bail application at the Tema High Court.

Oliver Barker suffers health complications

He was reportedly rushed to the hospital due to health complications on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

A statement by members of the #FixTheCountry movement said, “In the latter part

of this morning March 9, he complained of general discomfort. His health has since deteriorated and has currently been rushed to the police hospital in Accra for medical attention … his blood pressure has shot up."

Attorney General asks High Court to deny Barker bail

Mr Dame on Thursday, March 10, 2022, told the Tema High Court that the suspect, contrary to orders issued by a court, has failed to show investigators his place of abode and has also denied investigators access to his mobile phone.

The Attorney General’s Office therefore asked the Tema High Court to refuse the bail application filed by lawyers for embattled convener of #FixTheCountry, Oliver Mawusi Barker Vormawor.

“That having regard to the nature of the offence and the punishment which conviction will entail, the applicant, a person with no fixed place of abode in Ghana is not likely to appear to stand trial if granted bail” Dame is quoted to have said by

Bail application case adjourned to Wednesday

The Tema High Court has scheduled Wednesday, March 16, 2022 to deliver judgment on the bail application filed by lawyers for #FixTheCountry convener, Oliver Barker Mawuli-Vormawor.

Opening his argument in court today, Lawyer Akoto Ampaw said the statement made by his client for which he has been charged with felony treason, was a “conditional phrase” which was pegged on a precedent of the passage of the E-Levy.

The state on its part however maintained its opposition to the bail application citing the same reasons contained in its response documents.

Senior State Attorney, Hilda Craig, told the court that the accused posed a flight risk as he may abscond the country if granted bail.

The presiding judge, Justice Daniel Mensah, upon hearing arguments from both sides, served notice that he has reached his decision but however scheduled to deliver his judgment on Wednesday.

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