Government has condemned the treatment meted out to protesting law students by officers of the Ghana Police Service on Monday.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show yesterday, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said, the confusion was “an embarrassing spectacle and it is unacceptable.”
“Generally, it is totally unacceptable that an otherwise peaceful demonstration by people who want access to legal education will end up in the scenes that we saw on television and social media.”
Though the police have justified the use of force against the students, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said the police should have exercised restraint.
“The government also believes that the police must always abide by their clarion call which is to protect and serve…We are of the view that the handling of such a situation must always be done in a manner that allows a balanced achievement of the objectives.”
NPP Condemns Police Brutality On Demonstrating Law Students
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has condemns the policing measures and consequent incidents that occurred during the demonstration by persons protesting against mass failures in the recent Law School Examinations.
Reports speak of apparent excessive use of force by personnel of the Ghana Police Service against the demonstrators who were harmless and non-violent.
“While we accept the position of the Police that the demonstrators may have strayed outside the law, and were disrupting the normal usage of the public thoroughfare that passes in front of Jubilee House, we are, however, not convinced that the Police had to resort to such use of force and crowd controlling techniques to manage a crowd, mainly of students” a statement signed by John Boadu, General Secretary on Monday.
The police must realize that, just like every other Ghanaian, they are also subject to law and ought to give confidence to the populace at all times that, in applying the law, they do so fairly to all manner of persons.
In the light of this sad development, the NPP is calling on the police hierarchy to look into the matter and bring persons who are found to have acted unprofessionally to justice to forestall future occurrence of this regrettable incident.
More so, the party calls on the relevant authorities and State actors to grant a hearing to these students, who, together with many others, have consistently demanded for an immediate reform to legal education in the country, to reflect the realities of the 21st century.
We do empathize deeply with the innocent students who may have suffered any trauma and pray for their speedy recovery.
The law students were protesting to demand reforms to legal education in the country.
Beginning a march from the Ghana School of Law at Makola, they intended to march to the Jubilee House to present a petition to the President.
But police moved to disperse them around the Ako-Adjei Interchange in Accra with water cannons and rubber bullets.
Thirteen of the protesters were also arrested whilst others were injured.