NDC calls for fair play and justice

The Akwatia Constituency branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chief Justice to investigate the arrest and mal-treatment of eight of its members last year after the general elections. The party claimed that the eight people were innocent of the charges preferred against them and the accused persons want to be given the opportunity to clear their names. Addressing a press conference at Akwatia on Saturday, the constituency secretary of the party, Mr Kweku Ofori Abrokwa, recalled that during the general elections on December 7, last year, ballot boxes at six polling stations in the Akwatia township were vandalized, WHICH led to the arrest of eight NDC members on suspicion that they were responsible for that act. He said that also necessitated the holding of a re-run of the elections in the six polling station to determine the winner of the parliamentary polls, which was finally won by Dr Kofi Asare of the New Patriotic Party(NPP). Mr Abrokwa said the eight members of the party who were arrested by the police were locked up at the Oda Divisional Police Headquarters and later granted bail. He said the eight were re-arrested on December 25 last year, put before the Akim Swedru Circuit Court which sat on that Christmas day presided over by Mr Kofi Akrowiah. Mr Abrokwa alleged that at the court the original charge of causing harm was dropped and a charge of robbery was slapped on the accused persons who were remanded in custody by the court. The party requested that whoever ordered the police to re-arrest the accused on that statutory public holiday and ordered Mr Akrowiah to sit on public holiday against the laws of the country should be brought to book. The constituency secretary said for the past one year, the victims had been calling for the opportunity to clear their names but the case is not being called. The party regretted that up to today, those in whose possession the ballot boxes were found had still not been charged by the police let alone to be prosecuted in court. In response to questions at the conference, Mr Baba Jamal, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister and candidate of the NDC for the constituency for the 2008 elections, said it was strange that the court sat on a public holiday. He said one of the affected ballot boxes was found in the house of the NPP constituency vice chairman but till date no action had been taken against him. Mr Jamal said the NDC would continue to demand justice for the eight until justice is done .