The Ghana Police Service has denied the Economic Fighters League led by its Commander-in-Chief, Ernesto Yeboah, a permit to hold a vigil in honour of the late Akua Denteh who was lynched to death over suspicion of being a witch.The Economic Fighters League wrote a letter to the Ghana Police Service, IGP and Accra Regional Command requesting for permission to hold a vigil named #JusticeForGrandma in accordance with the Public Order Act.
However, 11 days after writing the letter, the group was invited to the Greater Accra Regional Police Headquarters to have a discussion on details of the vigil.
After an unfruitful discussion with the Regional Police Service, the request by the Economic Fighters League was cancelled on the bases that the easing of restrictions on the coronavirus pandemic does not factor such a gathering.
“The Regional Police Command wishes to inform you that the Executive Instrument on easing certain restrictions of COVID-19 does not affect protests/vigil, demonstration etc. In view of this, your request cannot be approved,” a statement released by the Assistant Commissioner of Police Deputy Regional Commander, E.A Sakyi read.
In a sharp rebuttal, the Economic Fighters League also stated that “We must be very clear. It is NOT within Ghana Police’s power to deny members of the public their right to gather. It is NOT right to deny the public the opportunity to come together to seek a way forward, to ensure that marginalised people like Mariama Akua Denteh are protected and their issues given the national prominence they deserve. We will be responding to Ghana Police shortly.”
This is the 2nd time the Economic Fighters League has been denied a permit to hold a vigil. On June 6, the Commander-in-Chief of the League, Ernesto Yeboah, was arrested during a Black Lives Matter vigil at the Black Star Square after George Floyd was murdered by a US police.