'Top Political Hands Behind Appiah Stadium’s Arrest'
A former minister of state in John Mahama's administration, Rashid Pelpuo, has suggested that the arrest of National Democratic Congress (NDC) communicator, Appiah Stadium, is politically motivated.
He said the manner in which the arrest was effected, and how the opposition activist was treated suggests it had political undertones.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, he said the action by the police against Appiah stadium was unfair, and thus called on President Akufo-Addo to order for the immediate release of the suspect.
Appiah stadium was arrested in the Ashanti Region on Tuesday afternoon after he alleged in a viral audio clip that the President, Nana Akufo-Addo smokes marijuana [wee], a banned substance.
He was handcuffed and transported to the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Accra to answer questions concerning his claims.
But according to Rashid Pelpuo, the police erred in their way of handling the matter.
He described the police as being “overzealous” and acting in the name of the President, when the president may not have authorized them to do so.
“I think that there is something political about it, and that is the reason why I think that it shouldn't go far. This matter shouldn't proceed beyond today [Tuesday]. The President should come out and ensure that he dissociates himself from this event and go ahead to order a release. If he wants, he can take his own action. He is the one insulted, he is the one who can take the matter to court, he is the one who can seek justice. And if it bothers on criminality then at one point he can wash his hands off and then the law can take its course. I think Appiah Stadium is being unfairly and unjustly being incarcerated.”
“If they [Police] are overzealous and they are doing it in the name of the president he should come out and say it's not me [Akufo-Addo],” Rashid Pelpuo said.
Meanwhile, the police have said the arrest is grounded in law and they are looking to have Appiah Stadium substantiate his claim.
Gabby Otchere Darko
A Ghanaian lawyer and former Executive Director of Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, has suggested that it was wrong for the police to handcuff Appiah Stadium, for allegedly accusing the President of smoking 'wee'.
According to him, the president will be “extremely unhappy” over the development.
In a series of Facebook posts on the matter, he said, “These things shouldn't happen. I can see the president being extremely unhappy about any citizen being arrested for allegedly insulting him. It goes against all that he stands for. I may not be privy to the details, but I know whatever the justification the President will not like this one bit…He [Appiah Stadium] could have been invited without the handcuffs. Very unnecessary; uncool.”
Akufo-Addo will not press charges against Appiah Stadium – Hamid
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has said he is not interested in pressing charges against Appiah Stadium.
The Minister for Information, Mustapha Hamid, in a release copied to citifmonline.com, indicated that Akufo-Addo has informed the Police Administration of his position on the matter.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana