Awutu Senya East NDC parliamentary candidate released from police custody

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Awutu Senya East NDC parliamentary candidate released from police custody.

Phillis Naa Koryoo Okunor, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate for Awutu Senya East in the Central Region, has been released from police custody.

Okunor was arrested and detained on Friday, June 7, but was released today, Saturday, June 8.

The arrest drew condemnation from the NDC’s flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama who demanded her immediate release to ensure national stability. 

Sammy Gyamfi, the party’s National Communications Officer, also urged party members to gather at the Cantonments Police station in protest.

Demonstrators, dressed in the party’s colors and chanting slogans in support of Okunor, expressed their dissatisfaction with what they deemed an unjust and politically motivated detention.

Former President John Mahama issued a statement claiming that the detention was ordered by the Inspector General of Police, George Dampare, under the instructions of National Security Minister Albert Kan Dapaah. 

Mr Mahama suggested that this action was intended to intimidate the NDC candidate in her campaign against the incumbent Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hawa Koomson, in the upcoming elections.

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The party’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi confirmed her release to Myjoyonline. It is however unclear yet what transpired during her detention and whether the police has charged her or not.

Background

On Sunday, June 2, 2024, the Ghana Police Service issued a statement claiming that three individuals were arrested at Ofaakor for possession of a firearm without lawful authority. The suspects, including Ms. Okunor, Mustapha Mohammed, and Abdul Aziz Musah, were apprehended while onboard a Honda CRV car with registration number GX-2044-19 near the Electoral Commission Office at Ofaakor.

During the arrest, a pump-action gun with four rounds of ammunition was retrieved from the vehicle. However, in an interview on Wednesday, June 5, Ms. Okunor emphasised that she was only invited by the police and not formally arrested.

She reiterated that the firearm found in her car was legally licensed. She also said she acquired the gun to protect herself from the incumbent NPP MP and Minister for Fisheries, Hawa Koomson, because the police had failed to protect her in previous altercations where the MP allegedly attacked her and in some cases fired gunshots.

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“I have never been arrested. Yes, I was invited to the police station. I was not arrested. I was there because I had to go there.

“My driver was arrested, and my security guard was arrested because a licensed gun was found in my car…It was far away from the registration centre,” she said.

Before the arrest over the possession of a gun, a clash between the NDC and the NPP at the EC’s office at Ofaakor in the ongoing votes transfer exercise had led to the stabbing of Ato Koomson, the son of the incumbent MP and Minister of Fisheries, Hawa Koomson, who was hospitalised. The suspect in that stabbing incident has also been arrested and detained.

It’s unclear whether the NDC Parliamentary Candidate’s subsequent arrest is related to the stabbing incident or rather the possession of a gun.

Source: Joynews

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