The Presiding Judge in the case involving the #FixTheCountry convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, has cautioned him not to go to the extent of suggesting a Coup d’état regardless of his displeasure with a government in power.
According to Justice Daniel Mensah, although he encourages activism among citizens to voice out their concerns, he cautioned Oliver Barker-Vormawor to know the extent to which he takes his activism. The Presiding judge at the Tema High Court, stated that the court couldn’t disable itself from granting the social activist bail but he had this word of caution for him.
According to reports from the court proceedings, Justice Daniel Mensah today, March 16, 2022 granted Mr Barker-Vormawor bail at GH¢2 million with two sureties, one of which must present documents with land properties. The Court also granted the #FixTheCountry convener bail on conditions among which are for him to report once every week to the station of his arrest.
Reports from the proceedings indicated that the foundation of the ruling of the Court was based on an argument by the prosecution that the accused is a flight risk due to the unavailability of a fixed abode in Ghana. The Presiding judge, Justice Mensah, was said to have disagreed with the prosecution led by Senior State Attorney Hilda Craig, noting that the accused’s passport was in their possession. He also cited the three places of accommodation searched by the Police as evidence to the fact that the accused had a fixed place of abode in the country.
Reacting to the ruling by the Tema High Court, lead counsel of the activist, Akoto Ampaw described it as welcoming. The lead counsel, however, cautioned members of the #FixTheCountry Movement to be measured in their utterances and behavior following the release of their convener.
Barker Vormawor’s court charges
Mr. Barker-Vormawor has been charged by the state with treason felony relating to alleged offences contrary to Section 182(b) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act 1960 (Act 29). The particulars of offence on the charge sheet filed at the Ashaiman district court disclosed that the accused in February 2022, prepared to undertake by any unlawful means, an enterprise that would overthrow the Executive powers of the Government of Ghana.
The #FixTheCountry activist has, however, denied the claims and indicated that he is ready to go to trial. Mr. Barker-Vormawor in his application for bail, contested the claims, saying a charge of treason felony against him cannot be sustained by the evidence available.
The #FixTheCountry pressure group convener was picked up by the Tema Regional Police on Saturday, February 12, 2022, after allegedly stating that he would stage a coup in Ghana if Parliament passes the E-Levy Bill. After the charge was read to him in open court on 14th February, 2022, Mr. Barker-Vormawor’s lead lawyer, Akoto Ampaw, applied for bail for his client but the state opposed the application.
In her ruling, Magistrate Eleanor Barnes Botchway averred that she does not have jurisdiction to grant bail in a case involving a charge of treason felony. The Magistrate subsequently remanded the accused into police custody and after subsequent court appearances, the activist has been freed today.