An Accra Circuit Court on Thursday sentenced 10 persons, including a journalist, to a fine of GHC12,000.00 each for not complying with the COVID-19 restriction orders.
In default, they would each serve a four-year jail term.
The convicts were arrested for demonstrating near the private residence of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on May 5.
They are Yahaya Alhassan, journalist, Bassarou Moaro, car washing assistant, Alhassan Arafat, driver’s mate, Abdul Gafa, head porter, Emmanuel Anim, construction labourer, Mohammed Nazif, trader, Issaka Mutakiru, driver’s mate, Zakari Salisu, head porter, and Abdulai Yahaya, and Mohammed Amin, both unemployed.
They all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit crime, failure to notify police of event contrary to Section 1(1) of the Public Order Act, and failure to comply with the restrictions imposed on public gathering contrary to the Imposition of the Restrictions Act.
Police Inspector Samuel Ahiabor told the Court, presided over by Mrs Susana Eduful, that the Accra Regional Police Command received information on May 4, 2020, that some people were planning to demonstrate near the private residence of President Akufo-Addo the next day.
He said on May 5, the police were on standby to avert any possible breach of the Law. At about 1030 hours a group of 50 converged at the Frankies Hotel, Nima with placards.
Some of the inscriptions were: “Osafo Marfo does not respect Bawumia,” “Why our Northern sister” and “Betrayal of the people”, “Deny Hajia Tina, deny the entire Zongos”.
Inspector Ahiabor said when the demonstration was on-going, the police managed to arrest only the 10 and the rest bolted in breach of the Public Order Act and failure to comply with the restrictions imposed on public gathering.
After investigations, they were charged and put before the Court.