Convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor is said to have refused to eat or drink two days into his arrest allegedly for threatening a coup on social media.
Members of his social activism group who made the disclosure say attempts to get him to eat after he was located at the Police station have been unsuccessful.
The hunger strike according to the movement is believed to be in protest of what the convener considers to be the government’s suppression of freedoms.
Brownson Adatsi, a member of the #FixTheCountry Movement, told Citi News, “since his arrest, he has been on a hunger strike. [We are sending food to him, but he is refusing it].”
Earlier, the group had raised concerns about the whereabouts of Oliver Barker-Vormawor after he was picked up by the Police at the Kotoka International Airport last Friday.
The Police debunked reports that he had gone missing, thereby taking responsibility for his arrest.
Oliver is to be arraigned on Monday, February 14, 2022.
Police have said the Cambridge PhD Student’s arrest was a result of a post he had made on Facebook threatening to stage a coup if the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) is passed.
“The post contained a clear statement of intent with a possible will to execute a coup in his declaration of intent to subvert the constitution of the Republic,” the statement added.
Oliver Barker-Vormawor had made the threat after pictures of the Majority Leader’s 65th birthday party showing an E-levy-designed cake emerged.
The Police Service cautioned citizens against making comments that could compromise peace of the country.
“We continue to call on the good people of Ghana to avoid making pronouncements that may lead to a breach of the peace of the country, as any such acts contravene the laws of the country.”
Detention wrong; ‘a mockery of power of arrest’ – Kpebu
Private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu has criticised the police administration over what he says is the poor handling of Oliver Barker-Vormawor’s arrest
He says the manner in which Barker-Vormawor was apprehended can best be described as “a mockery of the power of arrest”.
Martin Kpebu, condemned the arrest and argued simply that the police should have invited the accused using tact in dealing with him
“Oliver is just doing advocacy against the prolificacy of the government, and the police say they have arrested him to investigate the coup? He is arriving in the country so put him under surveillance and then if you need him, you invite him openly. But now, if anybody says anything, we arrest the person? This is not how we arrest a person.”
“When he was coming, did he bring in guns? This was someone who openly came through the airport. This arrest is high-handed and a very over-bearing one. It lacks finesse, and what the police have done is a mockery of the power of arrest. The arrest should be defined not in a Rambo or Gestapo style,” he decried.
Martin Kpeku also took issue with the time set by the police, pointing out that, it is in clear breach of the laws on the detention of persons in police custody.
For him, the Ghana Police Service should have put the suspect before the court by Sunday instead of the scheduled Monday date.
“It doesn’t even lie within the powers of the police to take him to court on Monday. It is supposed to be Sunday. The Supreme Court has said that the police have the right to keep a suspect and take him to court within 48 hours and not the expiration of the 48 hours for court processes to begin.”