A member of the legal team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abraham Amaliba, has expressed shock at the sentence slapped on 13 members of pro-New Patriotic Party vigilante group, Delta Force by the Asokwa District Court in Kumasi.
According to him, the GH¢1,800 fine slapped on each of the suspects was not deterrent enough, and would rather breed political lawlessness in the country.
The accused persons, who were made to sign a bond to be of good behavior for 12 months, were standing trial for rioting after they stormed the office of the newly appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Adjei, in March 2017, and assaulted him.
After months of proceedings on the matter, the court on Thursday, October 19, 2017, fined all 13 a total of GHc23,400.
But according to Mr. Amaliba, the sentence is unsatisfactory.
“They have been treated with kids’ gloves. The sentence in my view is going to breed more political lawlessness. It is this same case that occasioned the attack of a court and a judge in Kumasi; and I thought that this was a fine opportunity for the court to send a strong signal signal to tell vigilante groups that they have no place in our democracy,” he said in an interview on Eyewitness News.
He added that “to give them GH¢1,800 as a fine which is the sentence, is to say that anytime anyone has 2,000, you can go and cause mayhem and you can go back home with your change. This for me is a sad day.”
Mr. Amaliba said although the Attorney General can initiate legal proceedings to pray the court for stricter punishment for the suspects, he is certain that she will not do so due to her posture from the onset of the case.
“If the AG is minded, she can go on appeal for an enhancement of the sentence and that will show that she actually wanted the punishment enhanced so it is not complete, it is not final….she [Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo] is simply not interested, and I can’t see her appealing against the sentence, never, It won’t happen,” he said.
Meanwhile, the lawyer the freed vigilante group members, Frederick Kankam Boadu, has said that there was no evidence of aggravated circumstances in the incident for which they were hurled before the court, and his clients had shown great remorse for their action hence it was important not to imprison them.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana