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Ghana Police Service Clarifies Criminal Threshold of Politically Controversial Statements

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The Ghana Police Service has clarified that certain politically controversial statements have failed the criminal threshold test. The former President, John Dramani Mahama, the Agriculture Minister, Bryan Acheampong, and the National Chairman of the opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, were all found to have made statements that did not meet the criminal threshold test. However, the Suame NDC Youth Organiser made statements that breached the laws of the Republic and was subsequently arrested and prosecuted.

According to excerpts of the meeting shared by the National Organiser of the governing NPP, the Police Service held a meeting with the leadership of the NPP and NDC to discuss recent developments on the political front. The police legal unit scrutinized every politically controversial statement to ascertain if it meets the criminal threshold of the law before effecting an arrest. The meeting was to officially brief both parties on some petitions recently received by the police, demanding the arrest of some notable politicians on alleged statements that threaten the peace and security of the country.

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In his brief address, Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akufo Dampare, revealed the police’s determination to serve as impartial referees in enforcing law and order. The police also briefed both parties on some initiatives it has implemented under the Police Transformation Agenda to guarantee a secure environment for all elections. The establishment of a permanent National Elections Security Taskforce Secretariat (NEST) to supervise and coordinate all elections-related security issues was paramount amongst such interventions.

Furthermore, the police briefed both parties on its investigations into some election-related incidents in constituencies such as Odododiodio, Ablekuma Central, Savelugu, Techiman South, Banda, Awutu Senya, Asawase and Manso Adubia during the 2020 general elections and the internal elections of both parties in 2022.

The police’s clarification on the criminal threshold of politically controversial statements is a step in the right direction in ensuring the peace and security of the country. It also shows the police’s commitment to investigating all politically related incidents and determining any breach of legality and whether arrests and prosecutions can be made.

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