The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has secured a High Court order to stop pressure group Alliance for Social Equity and Accountability (ASEPA) from holding a demonstration against the Agyapa Royalties agreement.
ASEPA’s Executive Secretary, Mr Mensah Thompson, has been joined to the restraining order.
The court said its decision was arrived at after scrutinising the affidavit presented by the police and the response submitted by the counsel of the plaintiff on the ex parte motion filed on the matter.
“It is hereby ordered that the respondents herein, namely ASEPA and Mensah Thompson or any other group of persons affiliated to the respondents are prohibited and restrained from demonstrating against an agreement passed by the Parliament of Ghana popularly known as Agyapa agreement which demonstration is intended for 21st September 2020”, the restraining order said.
In an earlier correspondence from the police to ASEPA following the notification of the group to demonstrate, the law enforcement body said the current COVID-19 safety protocols only allowed the gathering of a maximum of 200 people, thus, ASEPA’s intention to gather 20,000 people for a march was a breach of that protocol.
“There is the tendency that COVID-19 protocols would be breached”, the police said.
“If permitted to demonstrate in this manner, public health and security could be endangered”, the police added.
“Your notification to demonstrate in this COVID-19 pandemic era cannot be sanctioned please,” a statement signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Deputy Regional Commander for the Accra Region, E. A. Sakyi noted.
The Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), on behalf of the government of Ghana, set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to manage and invest Ghana’s gold royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
In return, the company plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.
However, a lot of civil society groups have kicked against the deal.
The Minority in Parliament boycotted its passage on the floor.
Former President John Mahama has also indicated that he will not respect the deal should he win the 2020 polls.