Newland Ansah, a secretary to the Ga-Oshiyie Traditional Stool in the Greater Accra Region and 19 others have sued the Chief of Defence staff for what they claim is a violation of their human rights by some military personnel.
Mr. Ansah indicated that he was attacked together with his wife, Faustina Annor and 18 others on the 13th June 2019.
“My house was surrounded by some military men and I had several calls from the elders of the Ga-Oshiyie Palace that the whole community was surrounded by some military men. Around that same time, my chief, Nii Kofi Akrashie ll, called me and also told me his compound and the whole community was surrounded by some military men…They flooded the community with threats and noise all over, destroying valuable items in the palace and the houses of the individuals living within the community,” he said in a writ sighted citinewsroom.com.
“We were arrested in our various houses that night by the military men and I was brutally beaten by the military men. They administered several slaps and beatings on us, one using his elbow to hit my backbone anytime I tried to verify why we had been arrested. The said officials did, under the threat of harm, forced us to perform several military-style drills particularly anytime we say something or ask questions which they did not seem to like; and the said officials did use insulting, intimidating and abusive words on us.”
Mr. Ansah said they were detained the whole night till they were released the next day, 14 June 2019, at 6 p.m.
The applicants in their writ pegged the cost of items destroyed by the military personnel at GHc28,600.
Newland Ansah in the writ further recounted that after they were released on Friday, June 14, 2019 he was personally rushed immediately to the Weija/ Gbawe Municipal hospital for treatment.
“…Naomi Okine whom the Military men shut a door at her face and was suffering from severe eye pains was also rushed to Weija/ Gbawe Municipal hospital for treatment.”
The defendants insisted that they had “no idea as to why we were arrested, detained and tortured by the men under the command of the 1st Respondent[Chief of Defence Staff].”
The defendants are among others demanding the immediate and unconditional release and surrender of all seized and damaged items to applicants.
They are also seeking an order for general damages for the breach of fundamental human rights as well as an order for special damages for the items destroyed.
The applicants also want the court to declare that “by arresting us without a court warrant and without first informing us of the reasons for our arrest, the 1st Respondent and the 2nd Respondent or their officials have violated our right to personal liberty.”
“That by detaining us or otherwise restricting our movement from Thursday, June 13th through to Friday, June 24th , 2019, without bringing us to a court of competent jurisdiction to be considered for admission to bail, the 1st Respondent or his officials have violated our right to personal liberty and administrative justice; and, are violating or are likely to violate our right to fair trial.”
“That by performing various acts of torture (including other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments) on us while we were in their custody, the 1st Respondent or his officials have violated our right to human dignity and are violating or are likely to violate our right to fair trial.”
“That by destroying our hard earn properties and belongings, the 1st Respondent or his officials have violated our right to personal liberty and administrative justice; and, are violating or are likely to violate our right to fair trial.”
The Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Attorney General were also added as defendants.