The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the government of instigating Monday’s arrest of its National Communications officer, Sammy Gyamfi by the police over what it says is a ‘trumped up’ charge.
The police on Monday arrested Sammy Gyamfi over an alleged cyber-crime offence following what the police say was a complaint from an officer at the Jubliee House.
According to the NDC however, the arrest forms part of a bigger ploy by government to harass and intimidate its officers in order that they would keep quiet in the run-up to elections 2020.
The NDC at a press briefing Tuesday, addressed by its Communications Director, Lawyer Kakra Essamuah said Sammy Gyamfi’s arrest formed part of “a larger scheme of intimidation and harassment calculated at breaking our front and cowering us into silence”, however, he said that will not work.
“Sensing a humiliating defeat in the elections because of the pronounced maladministration characterized by massive corruption, unprecedented levels of nepotism, excruciating economic hardships, arrogance and waste of public resources through ostentation, the Akufo-Addo government has resorted to these discredited tactics to stay afloat.”
“If the intent is to cow the NDC into keeping quiet over the horrible governance he is offering, then he is grossly mistaken.
“The NDC is an unshakable force that has dominated the country's politics since our return to constitutional rule. This is a party that has defeated the NPP four out of seven times in national elections.
“We more than possess the capacity to withstand and fend off such brazen attacks on our leaders and members.
“We have the resolve to wait out a hapless government consumed by the lust for power and a President who mistakes the mandate of the people for his birthright and family heirloom hence his abuse of same to entrench himself in power,” the party said.
Below is the statement in full
STATEMENT READ BY THE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC), LAWYER KAKRA ESSAMUAH ON THE HARASSMENT AND INTIMIDATION OF THE NDC NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, SAMUEL GYAMFI
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the media.
Yesterday, Ghana descended into one of its darkest days under the fourth republic. Men from the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested in Gestapo style, the National Communications Officer of our party at the premises of a television station in Accra, Ghana, after he had appeared on a programme there.
These men did not respect the freedom of the media and the fact that Mr. Gyamfi was the guest of the television station. The basis for this needless show of excessive power, was that the Executive Secretary to the President, who is also his cousin, Nana Asante Bediatuo, had lodged a complaint against him over some alleged cyber- crime.
We are in no doubt, that this charge is trumped up and is designed as retribution against our courageous National Communications Officer for the brilliant and emphatic way he exposed the jam-packing of the Akufo-Addo government with dozens of relatives and friends including Asante Bediatuo.
It is not difficult to establish the reason for Bediatuo's vendetta against our able Communications Officer. Because he had hoped that the fact of his nuclear family being members the Akufo-Addo government will remain hidden.
Ladies and gentlemen, the NDC has credible intelligence, that this arrest forms part of a larger scheme of intimidation and harassment calculated at breaking our front and cowering us into silence in the run up to the 2020 elections.
Sensing a humiliating defeat in the elections because of the pronounced maladministration characterized by massive corruption, unprecedented levels of nepotism, excruciating economic hardships, arrogance and waste of public resources through ostentation, the Akufo- Addo government has resorted to these discredited tactics to stay afloat.
Sadly, some elements within the Ghana Police Service who should otherwise act professionally have allowed themselves to be used as pliant tools in the execution of this sinister agenda of hate and harassment against opponents and critics of President Akufo-Addo.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, in the process they have chosen to disregard the sanctity of our courts and treated them with contempt.
You would recall, that the attempts to arrest our National Communications Officer is not new. It started in December last year. Subsequent to this, he filed an application at the human rights court to prevent the breach of his fundamental human rights by the Police.
He followed this up with an injunction application to prevent the police from arresting him in the manner they had planned.
These processes are yet to be determined by the courts, but settled law clearly establishes that the pendency of these cases prevents the police from taking any further action against Mr. Gyamfi until the parties have been heard or until the police has managed to set them aside through due process.
Under a supposed human rights lawyer as President, and with the obvious instigation of a vengeful Jubilee House, the Police has been emboldened to treat the court processes with total contempt. This is a matter that Mr. Gyamfi's lawyers will take prompt action on.
As we await these steps, we wish to make clear to President Akufo-Addo and his hawkish relatives in government that the path of intimidation and harassment they have chosen is a futile one.
If the intent is to cow the NDC into keeping quiet over the horrible governance he is offering, then he is grossly mistaken.
The NDC is an unshakable force that has dominated the country's politics since our return to constitutional rule. This is a party that has defeated the NPP four out of seven times in national elections.
We more than possess the capacity to withstand and fend off such brazen attacks on our leaders and members.
We have the resolve to wait out a hapless government consumed by the lust for power and a President who mistakes the mandate of the people for his birthright and family heirloom hence his abuse of same to entrench himself in power.
Ordering the Police Service to carry out unlawful and draconian arrests has never saved any President from being thrown out when his time is up. High-handed and hot-headed measures can never mask the glaring ineptitude of his government and the crisis they have plunged this country into.
The people of Ghana are clear about what they face in their daily lives and the unbearable difficulties occasioned by the poor management of the country's affairs by this government and will not be swayed by trumped up and frivolous charges against leading members of the opposition.
On our own part, we wish to tell President Akufo-Addo that enough is enough. While remaining law abiding, we will not sit like ducks on top of water to be picked up one after the other by a handful of rogue elements within the Police acting on misguided orders from the Presidency.
We shall challenge the abuse of power to every extent possible. We shall deploy every legal and social arsenal at our disposal in defence of our rights to free expression and freedom of association.
We shall also defend our rights to privacy and means of communication. Especially the creeping practice of this government in using the police and the courts to intrude and intercept the private communications of citizens.
In the pursuit of these rights and that of all Ghanaians, we shall not tire, we shall not rest, we shall not falter and we shall not relent. We are unwilling to surrender our rights to a democratically elected leader who is carrying himself as a despot.
Fellow Ghanaians, in the coming days, we will be outlining a series of activities aimed at opposing in the strongest possible terms, the acts of suppression by President Akufo-Addo and his hawkish relatives in government.
In conclusion, we would also like to remind the Ghana Police Service that their first and foremost responsibility is the maintenance of law and order. Their loyalty must be to the state and the people of Ghana.
They are not appendages of Akufo-Addo and must not act as such, even if some of their senior officers have gained undeserved promotions motivated by political considerations. Their role should not be the needless and shameful intimidation of the opposition.
As they would be aware, political power is transient and we are convinced that the political hawks at the Jubilee House from whom they are taking instructions to behave so capriciously would be there one year from today.
As I have indicated earlier, we will be embarking on a series of activities to press home our demand for an immediate cessation of the harassment and intimidation of our leading members and we will make public a road map in the coming days.
Thank you very much.