The Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery, has urged the ‘FixTheCountry’ convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, to take his case to the High Court if he thinks his rights have truly been abused or breached following his arrest.
Commenting on claims by some stakeholders that Mr. Barker-Vormawor is being treated as a political prisoner which is an abuse of his rights, he averred that if that’s the case then the convener should use the due process to make his case where the human rights will be tested. He intimated however, that human rights are not absolute and are subject to other people’s human rights.
“I am not being judgmental at this stage but if in the exercise of his human right, he tends to put the whole rule of law architecture at risk and [suggests] an overthrow, what are you taking about?”Ambrose Dery
According to Ambrose Dery, as to why the ‘FixTheCountry’ convener’s comments were not left on social media but taken up by the state, will be made known by the judges in charge of the case. “Like I said, he is a suspect now and has not been convicted but he is in a place that he can make his case.” The minister then criticized some commentaries suggesting that the state took the convener’s coup comments too serious.
Touching on why Barker-Vormawor was sent to a district court when the court didn’t have a jurisdiction over such a case, he clarified that such cases are not tried in district courts but rather they commence in district courts. According to him, “when the investigations begin, you go there for the person to be remanded before you continue with the investigation. And it’s open to that person if he feels that he is right to go to the High court, which has been given the jurisdiction to deal with such cases.”
Bail doesn’t come as a surprise
Also speaking on the development, a Former Deputy Attorney General, Joseph Kpemka, intimated that it doesn’t come as a surprise that Mr. Barker-Vormawor has been granted bail despite the charges levelled against him. He explain that Article 96 of Act 30 has been the basis for granting bail in the country and after a unanimous decision by the Supreme court, suspects charged for treason can be bailed.
Mr. Kpemka revealed that by law now, there is no case in the country that cannot be bailed as there has been a change in the law. However, he disclosed that a bail can be refused by a judge if the judge in his assessment finds that the suspect involved will not appear to stand trial. He added that the judge in such cases considers lots of facts before arriving at such a decision.
The former deputy Attorney General mentioned that the initial denial of bail by the court was justifiable since the suspect involved was seen to be a flight risk at the initial stages until evidence revealed that he wasn’t. He indicated that with the two sureties and the court being able to trace the suspect’s place of abode, were the justified reasons required to proceed with granting the ‘FixTheCountry’ convener bail.