The Inspector General of Police (IGP), has directed the Tema Regional Police Commander, to take immediate action on persons identified to have caused disturbances, during the Ada East DCE nominee confirmation on Friday, November 3.
The pro-New Patriotic Party thugs, Invincible Forces in the company of the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Elizabeth Sackey, stormed Ada East to cause chaos during the election of the District Chief Executive.
The Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, has been accused of assault by the Presiding Member of the Ada East District Assembly, Simon Korblah Arthur, in the controversial elections of Sarah Pobee.
The elections was marred by reports of rigging and intimidating tactics with the deputy minister again accused of the deploying Invisible Forces to destabilized the voting and counting of ballot over the weekend.
The police in a statement said the disturbances amounted to “a breach of peace.”
The DCE nominee for Ada East, Sarah Dugbakie, was eventually confirmed amid the confusion and allegations of police interference, where some assembly members, were said to have been assaulted, despite police presence.
Videos of the violent incident and the intimidating presence of heavily armed policemen have flooded every conceivable social media site. Chiefs, queen mothers and other opinion leaders are in most of the videos painstakingly asking the police, the Invisible Forces and others to allow the assemblymen vote in peace since they were not in warzone.
Simon Korblah Arthur, part of 17 assembly members, who have since petitioned President Akufo-Addo, told The Herald that he has since lodged a criminal assault case against Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister with Ada Police, who subsequently gave him a medical form to visit the hospital.
He told The Herald that, despite visiting the hospital, he is still nursing some severe pains from the hefty blows he received from the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister for refusing to change the venue of the voting.
The Presiding Member, disclosed that that last Saturday’s event is about the third time that election of Sarah Pobee, has been characterized by violence, intimidation and daylight assault.
He revealed that, although 17 assembly members, signed the petition, in all 20 members, have come forward to deny voting for Sarah Pobee.
Some 17 assembly members from Ada East, have lodged a complaint relating to assault with the police, and the Regional Police Commander, is expected to expedite action on the matter.
Following the incident, a Council of State Member, Dr. Nii Kotei Dzani, charged the police administration to sanction its personnel, who stood by as the alleged assaults and confusion took place.
The police cited, Dr. Kotei Dzani’s comments as one of the reasons the directive was given by the IGP.
“The directive was given after the IGP and some Police Management Board Members reviewed a report from the Tema Regional Police Commander on the incident, statements made by Dr. Kotei Dzani, a member of the Council of State and Mr. Simon Arthur, the Presiding Member of Ada East Assembly, and TV3’s coverage of the incident,” the police statement said.
The police, has also appealed to anybody, who witnessed the incident to report “directly” to the Tema regional Police Commander.
In their petition to Flagstaff House, the 17 assembly members pointed out that pro-NPP group; Invisible Forces, snatched ballot boxes to distort the results which declared Sarah Pobee elected as DCE, after two previous attempts failed.
The petitioners said the police looked on while the ballot box was snatched into a police van without the authorization of the Presiding member who was also assaulted when he protested.
The Assembly members pointed out that democracy was defiled within 45 minutes as the lights in the voting hall went off. The ballot box was grabbed and sent inside a police van where they alleged it was tampered with, adding during the time the box was kept in the van, there was no Presiding member present or agents or assembly members.
The 17 Assembly members say the unsigned declaration form which gave the nominee 27 votes against nine cannot be accurate. This is because all 17 voted against Sarah Pobee, they said. The petitioners say the result is therefore fraudulent, condemnable and unacceptable.
They want the Council of State and the President not to recognize the nominee as validly securing two-thirds majority she desperately needed.
Pobee had tried twice to garner the stipulated two-thirds support and had only one more lifeline vote to confirm her nomination by the president. If she failed, the president would have no choice than to nominate a different representative to the District Assembly.
The Assembly members insist, the vote process was subverted and have expressed willingness to take “concrete steps” to ensure that the voting process is reversed.
Tension at Ada dates back to May 2017 after the president’s nominee for District Chief Executive Sarah Pobee lost the first vote when 23 rejected her nomination as against 13. The loss led to the sacking of government appointees in the District Assembly in a letter signed by the Greater Accra Regional minister Ishmael Ashitey.
In the second vote however, Pobee who owns a flourishing Supermarket at Ada still could not secure 2/3 majority after she polled 19 out of a total of 36 votes. The results of her last chance last Friday is now the subject of a petition. But it has not stopped the Greater Accra Regional Minister from swearing her in.
From the ongoing, it is clear that Sarah Pobee cannot function effectively and efficiently at the Ada East District Assembly.