June 4 demo to start at Circle
Police ask organisers of demo to reconsider proposals
‘We will carry our weapons to June 4 demo’ – Captain Smart, Okatakyie, Oliver write to Police
The members of a group who had expressed their intentions to stage a three-day demonstration on the streets of Accra have been stopped by the Ghana Police Service.
This, the Service said in a statement signed by Chief Inspector Bright Kwabena Danso of the Regional Public Affairs Unit, AR, is because the group’s planned demonstration will be in contravention of the Public Order Act of 1994.
“We would like to assure the public that the Police Service is ready and willing to provide the necessary protection for any lawful demonstration in the country.
“However, in this case, the Service is of the view that the nature and character of the demonstration as intended, is inconsistent with the Public Order Act.
“We are therefore unable to provide security for a demonstration which is in flagrant violation of the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 49) and has the potential to result in a breach of public order and public safety,” the statement said in part.
By this, the police declined the request by the group to demonstrate, while requesting of it to reconsider its proposals and work with it to make their exercise a better one.
“The Service has reached out to the organisers to reconsider their proposal and work with the Police towards the organization of a lawful, peaceful and successful demonstration.
“We wish to assure the public that in the interest of public safety and security, the Police are putting in place all necessary measures to ensure that unauthorised persons do not match the streets with weapons,” it added.
It would be recalled that the group wrote to the Accra Regional Police Command to ask it to allow them to demonstrate with their own private security.
The individuals also asked the police to allow demonstrators to carry their own registered weapons to the march to protect themselves.
“We will bring our own security company to provide protection to demonstrators. All weapons held by demonstrators or by the contracted security personnel will be for personal protection only; and all weapons will be duly permitted in accordance with the Arms and Ammunitions Act, 1972 (NRCD 9) e) Proposed route and destination: We expect that the Demonstrators will gather at Circle.
“The procession will move from Circle to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, where the Protestors will make a demand a slot on GTV to speak directly to the Nation and layout our grievances, in accordance with Article 55(11), which guarantees the fair opportunity to Ghanaians to present their programmes to the public through equal access to the state-owned media,” the statement said.
Read the contents of the full police statement below:
What does the Public Order Act 19941 (1) say?
AN ACT to provide for the maintenance of public order and for related matters and purposes.
Holding of Special Events
1. Notification of special event
(1) A person who desires to hold a special event in a public place shall notify the police of that
intention not less than five days before the date of the special event.
(2) The notification shall be in writing and signed by or on behalf of the organiser of the special event
and shall specify
(a) the place and hour of the special event,
(b) the nature of the special event,
(c) the time of commencement,
(d) the proposed route and destination, and
(e) the proposed time of closure of the event.
(3) The notification shall be submitted to a police officer not below the rank of assistant
superintendent or other police officer responsible for the police station nearest to the location of the
proposed special event.
(4) Where a police officer notified of a special event under subsection (1) has reasonable grounds to
believe that the special event if held may lead to violence or endanger public defence, public order, public
safety, public health or the running of essential services or violate the rights and freedoms of any other
persons, the police officer may request the organiser to postpone the special event to any other date or to
relocate the special event.
(5) An organiser requested under subsection (4) to postpone or relocate the holding of a special event
shall within forty-eight hours of the request, notify the police officer in writing of the willingness to
(6) Where the organiser refuses to comply with the request under subsection (4) or fails to notify the
police officer in accordance with subsection (5), the police officer may apply to a Justice or the chairman
of a Regional Tribunal for an order to prohibit the holding of the special event on the proposed date or at
the proposed location.
(7) The Justice or chairman may make an order that the Justice or the chairman considers to be
reasonably required in the interest of public defence, public order, public safety, public health, the
running of essential services or to prevent a violation of the rights and freedoms of any other persons.
2. Control of routes and crowds
(1) A police officer shall take the steps that are reasonably necessary in a public place
(a) to assist in the proper conduct of a special event by directing the routes of the event to
prevent obstruction of pedestrian or vehicular traffic;
(b) to disperse crowds at a special event where the police officer has reasonable grounds to
believe that a breach of the peace is likely to occur or if a breach of the peace has occurred or
is occurring in order to prevent violence, restore order and preserve the peace.
(2) The police officer in charge of an area of a special event may cause the streets or parts of the
streets of that area to be closed to pedestrian or vehicular traffic or both and may cause to be erected the
barriers which are necessary to preserve public order.
3. Responsibility of organisers and other persons
(1) Where at a special event damage is caused to public property, the organiser or any other persons
found to have been responsible for the damage caused are liable to pay for the cost of the damage.
(2) A person taking part in a special event shall obey the directions of police officers safeguarding the
proper movement of any other persons and vehicles and generally maintain order.
(3) A person taking part in a special event shall act in a manner that avoids causing obstruction of traffic, confusion or disorder.