The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the government of using unconventional means to prosecute its National Chairman, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, and deputy National Communication Officer, Mr Kwaku Boahene, over a leaked tape.
The two were dragged to the court by the Attorney-General based on the content of the leaked tape, allegedly inciting NDC party communicators to rain verbal insults and also incite violence against the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Peace Council (NPC).
They were charged with conspiracy to cause harm and assault on a public officer.
However, in a statement signed and issued by the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the NDC finds it curious that the Chief Justice, having created the divisions for the High Court, with a fully constituted Criminal Division would have the case of Mr Ofosu Ampofo assigned to a Justice at the Commercial Division of the High Court.
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Accusing the government of attempting to gag its political opponents, the NDC said it had, however, never thought that such disregard for the rights of its members would be the weapons of choice in a political vendetta.
The party said it had witnessed countless instances of harassment, intimidation, criminality and lawlessness, thereby questioning the quick move to sanction the abuse of prosecutorial powers to intimidate opponents.
According to the NDC, contrary to the government’s belief that the maltreatment of its members, hasty media trials and the peddling of falsehoods against them would be met with a docile party, the party would take every reasonable step to assert the innocence of its members and insist on respect for their fundamental human rights.
“We demand fair and lawful treatment for all our members and an immediate end to this harassment,” the statement stressed.
The statement went on to say that despite the NDC’s strong disagreement with what it called “this partisan prosecution,” it demands fairness in the judicial process and it is its expectation that historical hostility to the NDC, whether real or perceived, will play no role in the determination of all cases and that only the facts of each case, the position of the law and the objective assessment of same will inform any outcome’’.
A leaked audio purported to be the voice of Mr Ofosu Ampofo in a meeting with NDC communicators had him saying: “We’re going to take her [Chairperson of the Electoral Commission] to the cleaners.”
“As for the EC Chair, we must wage a relentless war on this EC Chair. Me, she doesn’t want to see my face,” Mr Ofosu-Ampofo is alleged to have said.
In the audio, he also gave his blessing to the party communicators to insult the Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante, the Chairman of the National Peace Council.
“For the first time, I’ll endorse insulting the National Peace Council Chair,” he said.
The alleged meeting between Mr Ofosu Ampofo and NDC communicators was aimed at planning strategies ahead of the 2020 general election.
When the issue of the leaked tape went viral, the NDC described it as concocted and false.