The decision by a Kumasi Circuit Court to release the eight members of the notorious vigilante group, Delta Force for want of evidence Wednesday is sickening, according to the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Sulemana Braimah.
The news of the release of the eight who raided the court in Kumasi to free 13 of their members standing trial Wednesday angered the Minority in Parliament and a section of Ghanaians.
Wading into the controversy the minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu described it as politically motivated and a travesty of justice. Mr. Braimah said he is greatly hurt by the recent turn of events.
Likening the release of the eight to the pardoning of the infamous Montie 3 by former president John Mahama, he said in a Facebook post Thursday that “Oh, so after all, there is no difference between NPP and NDC. I am exceedingly disappointed. How can people storm a court to free suspects on trial and a government frees them just because they are members of the ruling party?
“What is even more shameful is the efforts by the government to take Ghanaians for fools by giving us kwaku ananse stories on why the party thugs have been freed. Let someone tell them we are not fools. This is not only disgusting but embarrassing. I have been hoping the president is truly committed to rule of law.”
Impunity justified – Aning
The discharge of the eight is a justification of impunity, the Head of the Department of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) Dr. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning said.
According to him, “a culture of impunity is created when people are not dealt with accordingly because of political backing,” and that “looking at the Delta Force eight case and how things are going, it is quite disturbing.”
The government, however, stated that the Attorney General is not aware of the decision by the prosecutor to discontinue the case.
The Attorney General’s department is therefore “investigating circumstances under which a principal State Attorney in Kumasi decided without recourse to advice from higher authority on a matter of high public interest of this nature to drop charges against persons arrested in connection with disturbances in a Kumasi Magistrate’s court in April this year,” the Minister of Information Mustapha Hamid stated in a statement Wednesday.
He added “preliminary investigations suggest that the decision was taken without recourse even to the Director of Public Prosecution and may amount to a breach of internal procedures on matters of this nature.”
Premature to pass judgement – Short
Meanwhile, a former Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Justice Emile Short called for calm in the wake of the discharge of the eight.
Commenting on the development Thursday on Morning Starr, Justice Short said even though the conduct of the eight was an assault on the “dignitary of the court” the judicial process has to be followed nonetheless.
He said Ghanaians need to be circumspect in their criticism of the recent development in Kumasi as the Attorney General indicated that she is conducting investigations into the circumstances under which the eight were discharged.
“So I think we have to wait until the investigations are completed and the report is published and then a decision is taken. …It is important to point out that they were not acquitted and discharged.
“They were just discharged which means they can be re-arrested. Therefore I think at this stage it is premature to start passing judgement and we should wait for the report on the investigations which has been ordered by the attorney General’s office,” Justice short stated.