Persons calling for the arrest of Abraham Amaliba, a private legal practitioner and member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), over comments he made to the effect that Ghana will burn if Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, is removed from office by the Akufo-Addo-led government, are jokers, Kofi Adams, National Organiser of the NDC, has said.
According to him, Ghana is a democratic nation where the freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution, therefore, Mr Amaliba cannot be arrested for expressing his views.
His comment comes after the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wuntumi) called for the arrest of Mr Amaliba over his comment.
Mr Amaliba had accused the government of using the system to harass Mrs Osei, a situation he said does not augur well for the stability of the country.
Mrs Osei is expected to answer for six allegations out of the 27 accusations levelled against her by her two deputies Amadu Sulley (in charge of Operations), and Georgina Amankwa (in charge of Corporate Services).
This was after she appeared before the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court on Monday, December 11, after the President forwarded a petition by Forson Ampofoh and Godsway Dzado, both drivers at the EC office for her impeachment in relation to alleged corruption and mismanagement.
The two deputies are to also answer for their alleged roles in the disappearance of some GHS480,000 from the EC’s Endowment Fund, among other allegations.
Speaking on this matter in an interview with Obeng Mensah, sit-in host of the Ghana Yensom show on Accra 100.5FM on Tuesday December 12, Mr Amaliba said: “…What has the woman done? She has declared election results in your favour and so what again do they want from her that they are using the process to harass her?
“Where are the CDDs? Where are the Occupy Ghanas? If it were to be the NDC government all these people would be speaking by now. Where is Emile Short? Where is Professor Martey? This country will burn and we will see where all of us will be and so they should continue doing it.”
Commenting on Mr Amaliba’s outburst, Chairman Wontumi said such reckless statement from a lawyer has the propensity of plunging the country into chaos and therefore, must not be countenanced.
“The IGP must not waste time in arresting Amaliba for him to explain himself. He’s a lawyer, he knows the law and should not be speaking foolishly. When Hon. Ken Agyapong made a statement that was considered problematic, he was arrested. I was also arrested for pronouncements I made, why can’t same be applied to Amaliba?
“I appeal to the Ghana Bar Association to reprimand Amaliba. As a lawyer, he should be the first to uphold the law and not be preaching violence. Recently, some lawyers were suspended, Amaliba’s comment must not be taken lightly. He doesn’t think, I think we have to force him to think.”
Reacting to this in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, on the Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Friday December 15, Mr Adams said: “I don’t think that anybody is very serious with such an arrest of Lawyer Amaliba who indicated that flimsy issues are being used as basis to remove the Chairperson of the EC and that if this continue, it will not augur well for the country.
“Can’t people express their thoughts anymore in Ghana? Or there is no more freedom of expression in Ghana after Akufo-Addo won the elections.
“Those persons calling for arrest of Amaliba are not serious, may be they are joking with their demands.”