NDC supporters gather Cantonments Police Station; call for release of Awutu SenyaJoyce’s.

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NDC supporters gather Cantonments Police Station; call for release of Awutu Senya East PC.

Some supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have converged on the Cantonments Police Station in Accra, requesting the immediate release of Phillis Naa Koryoo Okunor, the party’s parliamentary candidate for Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.

Okunor was detained on Friday evening, prompting widespread outrage among NDC members and sympathisers. 

Following her arrest, the party’s flagbearer condemned the police and demanded her immediate release to ensure the stability of the nation.

The party’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, also called on party members to mass up at the Cantonments Police station in protest of the arrest.

The demonstrators, dressed in the party’s colours and chanting slogans in support of Okunor, voiced their dissatisfaction with what they consider an unjust and politically motivated detention.

A statement from former President John Mahama claimed that the detention was ordered by the Inspector General of Police, George Dampare, on the instructions of the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah. 

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He suggested that this move was an attempt to intimidate the NDC candidate in her campaign against the incumbent Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hawa Koomson, in the upcoming elections.

Mahama’s statement highlighted the potential for such actions to escalate political tensions and disrupt the nation’s peace and stability ahead of the crucial 2024 elections. 

He called for Okunor’s immediate release and urged the police and government to uphold justice and fairness.

The police station was heavily guarded, with the presence of law enforcement officers working to maintain order.

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.

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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.

“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.

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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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