The Circuit Court in Accra presided over by Her Honour Mrs Susana Eduful has convicted 10 persons including a journalist to a fine of GHC12,000 for violating the COVID-19 restriction orders.
The convicts Yahaya Alhassan, a journalist, Bassarou Moaro, car washing assistant, Alhassan Arafat, driver’s mate, Abdul Gafa, head porter, Emmanuel Anim, construction labourer, Mohammed Nazif, trader, Issaka Mutakiru, driver’s mate, Zakari Salisu, head porter, Abdulai Yahaya, and Mohammed Amin, both unemployed were convicted on their own plea.
They were each sentenced to a fine of 1,000 penalty unit for not complying with the COVID-19 restriction orders. In default, they would each serve a four-year jail term.
The convicts were arrested for demonstrating near the private residence of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on May 5.
They were charged with four counts to wit: conspiracy to commit a crime, failure to notify police of event contrary to Section 1(1) of the Public Order Act, and failure to comply with the restrictions imposed on public gathering contrary to the Imposition of the Restrictions Act.
Brief facts of the case as presented to the court by Police Inspector Samuel Ahiabor were that the Accra Regional Police Command received information on May 4, 2020, that some people were planning to demonstrate near the private residence of President Akufo-Addo the next day.
According to the prosecutor, on May 5, the police were on standby to avert any possible breach of the Law. At about 1030 hours a group of 50 converged at the Frankies Hotel, Nima with placards.
He said some of the inscriptions on the placards were: “Osafo Marfo does not respect Bawumia.”
Inspector Ahiabor said when the demonstration was on-going, the police managed to arrest only the 10 as the rest bolted.
The convicts he said, “after investigations were charged and put before the Court.”