Magistrate orders removal of Oliver Barker-Vormawor from court following heated exchanges

The Ashaiman District Court on Monday ordered the removal of #FixTheCountry Movement convener Oliver Barker-Vormawor from its premises.



According to Joy News’ Joseph Ackah-Blay, the youth activist had engaged in heated exchanges with the magistrate, Eleanor Barnes Botwe.

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His lawyers, led by Justice Srem Sai, had inquired about the court’s authority to deal with matters that affect the liberty of the Cambridge PhD student.

“Whether this court has the jurisdiction to determine the personal liberty of my client, for there is no point in bringing the prisoner to a court for his liberty to be decided when that court has no capacity or jurisdiction to determine this,” the lawyer argued.

State Prosecutor, ASP Sylvester Asare, responded that the case was at the right forum since the charge of treason felony levelled against him is an indictable offence.

He argued that the trial of such cases must commence at the District court.

The magistrate then reminded Mr Barker-Vormawor’s legal team that she had earlier ruled that she had the mandate to remand the accused person and that if they wanted to request bail, the appropriate forum is the High Court.

At this point, the youth activist standing less than 50 meters away from the magistrate said, “We have not asked for bail.”

The magistrate urged him to remain silent, and two officers moved closer to urge the accused persons to remain calm.

This did not get the accused to remain silent as he continued, “We have not asked for bail. This is a kangaroo process. The bench has not covered itself in glory. I am not going to glorify a sham.”

The magistrate urged the lawyers to restrain the accused person, but the youth activist said again, “This process is a sham.”

The magistrate then ordered his removal from the court. He was swiftly whisked away into a police van stationed outside the court.

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Background



Mr Barker-Vormawor was charged with a treason felony on February 14, 2022. This is an offence provided for in section 182(b) of Ghana’s Criminal offences Act.

This provides; “Section 182—Treason Felony. A person is guilty of treason-felony and shall be punishable as for first-degree felony who —

  1. b) prepares or endeavours to carry out by unlawful means any enterprise which usurps the executive power of the State in any matter of both a public and a general nature.“

The youth activist is accused of threatening to stage a coup should the E-Levy policy be passed.

“If this E-Levy passes after this cake bullshit, I will do the coup myself. Useless Army!” he posted on Facebook on February 9.

He was subsequently arrested on Friday, February 11, 2022.



According to the Police, Mr Barker-Vormawor’s “post contains a clear statement of intent with a possible will to execute a coup in his declaration of intent to subvert the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

In court on February 14, lawyers for Mr Barker-Vormawor, led by Anthony Akoto Ampaw, urged the court to grant him bail.



 

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Source myjoyonline.com