While the heat is still on, the 13 members of pro-vigilante group Delta Force, who escaped during an altercation in court yesterday, have reported themselves to Police. According to a statement issued and signed by the Police Commander on April 7, 2017, all 13 Delta Force members are currently in police custody. The accused persons turned themselves in on Thursday shortly after their other colleagues aided them to escape.
President Nana Addo has come under pressure following recent attacks by New Patriotic Party (NPP) pro-government vigilante groups, who have been involved in a number of raids on government institutions since the party won the 2016 elections.
Delta Force Court Raid
The said 13 Delta Force members escaped after some other members of the vigilante group stormed the Kumasi Circuit Court on April 6, 2017, during their hearing. The suspects were being tried for causing disturbances at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council; after Delta Force raided the Regional Coordinating Council on March 24, 2017.
The group attacked the council on the said date requesting the removal of Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator George Adjei. Their grudge was that the security coordinator was not part of the struggle to ensure President Akufo Addo’s victory and hence, should not be appointed to head them.
During the trial, the court presided over by Justice Mary Senkyire, had ruled that the 13 be remanded to reappear before it on the 20th of April, 2017. This was after the 13 Delta Force members were charged with conspiracy to assault a public officer and causing unlawful damage. Their counterparts however were resistant of the court’s order as they demanded to leave the court with the 13 accused persons.
However, their counterparts were resistant to court’s order as they demanded to leave the court with the 13 accused persons. In their bid to disobey court’s orders, some supporters of the accused who were outside the courtroom attempted to find their way into the courtroom but they were prevented from doing so by the police.
During the altercation, the 13 accused members joined those outside to leave the court premises, against court orders. Some of their counterparts vandalized court properties, and almost assaulted Judge Mary Senkyere. Following the confusion at the court, the Ashanti Regional Police Command also arrested eight members of the group who attacked the court.
Reactions from Public after yet another Delta Force Attack
As expected, mixed reactions immediately followed the attack which reportedly shook Ghana’s Judiciary. The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has condemned the Delta Force court attack which they have described as a move capable of encouraging anarchy, chaos, and lawlessness in the country. The association has asked for absolute condemnation of the act by the ruling government.
Furthermore, the recent raid by the pro-vigilante group affiliated to the NPP, has been regarded by a large section of Ghanaians as a proof of total disregard for the rule of law on the part of the new government. Scores of NPP loyalists have rebuked the Delta Force group for perpetuating the act which has been considered a slap on President Nana Addo’s face.
Only last week, Nana Addo who was on a tour of the Ashanti region assured that his government would ensure that the rule of law prevails in the country. The President said this when he visited the Asantehene Otumfuo Desmond Tutu II.
This recent court ambush by the vigilante members -a huge contradiction to the President’s assurance, now leaves the presidency on the spot as all attention has been tilted towards the Flagstaff regarding the next move.