A flagbearer aspirant for the National Democratic Congress, Ekwow Spio Garbrah has dragged the minister of state in charge of National Security to court, over political violence at Ayawaso West Wuogon in the Greater Accra Region.
The suit at the High Court also names the chairperson of the Electoral Commission Jean Mensa, the Inspector-General of Police David Asante Appietu and Attorney-General Gloria Akuffo as the other defendants.
In the suit filed Tuesday February 12, 2019, the defendants are all faulted for the roles during the January 31st 2019 bye-election which the candidate of the governing NPP Lydia Alhassan was declared winner.
The NDC presidential aspirant wants the Electoral Commission ordered to set up its own intelligence gathering system in addition to organising elections.
Blaming the police, the plaintiff wants a declaration that the Ghana Police Service adopted the posture of cowardice in not resisting the violence conduct of masked armed men wearing NSC T-Shirts suggesting they are operatives of National Security.
This posture, he said, could possibly send signals to bandits who could disguise themselves in security uniforms to cause mayhem.
In another sought declaration, the NDC politician wants the court to rule that the National Security ministry, which as owned up for the presence of the masked men, did not have any legal authority to deploy these men nor were they mandated by the police whose duty is to ensure law and order.
He wants the minister of state in charge of National Security to take responsibility for the actions of these men at the La Bawaleshie polling station resulting in injuries to at least six Ghanaians.
He wants the court to grant compensation for the victims of the violence that also saw an operative slap an opposition NDC MP Sam George.
Although government has set up a Commission of Inquiry into the violence, the plaintiff claims that their terms of reference does not cover some legal matters such asthe power of the minister of state in charge of National Security to deploy operatives.
Ekwow Spio-Garbrah said as a potential presidential candidate for the 2020 general elections, he would not want to go into a chaotic general elections that could ignite political unrest.
He called the suit a “public spirited action for a judicial involvement in addressing unacceptable abuse of state power”.
Despite existing laws on security and public order, Ekwow Spio Garbrah wants the Attorney-General Gloria Akuffo ordered to present a bill dealing with surging political thuggery linked to violence during the recent bye-election.
The plaintiff wants the bill in place within 90 days of the court order.