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06.02.2009 Politics

Maame Dokono in police dragnet …complains of political harassment

By Charles Takyi-Boadu - Ghanaian Chronicle
Maame Dokono in police dragnet …complains of political harassment

Ace actress and gender advocate, Grace Omaboe, a.k.a Maame Dokono, was yesterday arrested by the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, following a sodomy incident, which occurred at her orphanage, Peace and Love, at Adenta, a suburb of Accra, about two weeks ago.

There were heated exchanges between the actress, and the police personnel, who went to the orphanage and wanted to whisk her away. She resisted arrest, amidst tears, insisting she had to first see her lawyer. She later reported herself to the police, in the company of her lawyer.

Sympathisers, including the likes of ace actor and presenter Amankwaa Ampofo, Prince Yawson a.k.a 'Waakye of Akan drama fame, and Nana Fredua Agyemang, a staunch New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporter and social commentator, were also the offices of the DOVVSU with their colleagues.

She was later released on bail, after hours of closed-door meetings between her lawyers, represented by Joyce Attafuah of [email protected] Chambers, and the Regional Coordinator of the DOVVSU.

It all began, when an 8 year old boy was alleged to have sodomised a six month old baby at the Peace and Love Orphanage, which is owned by Maame Dokono, about two weeks ago, at a time she (Maame Dokono) was said to be receiving medical treatment in Holland.

This led to the removal of some of the orphans from the orphanage, by the officials of the Department of Social Welfare.

The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit of the Police said the action was meant to protect the inmates of the orphanage.

That notwithstanding, the Public Relations Officer of DOVVSU, Chief Inspector Irene Oppong, told The Chronicle that Maame Dokono was operating the orphanage illegally, because her Certificate of Recognition had long expired, since 2006.

According to her, the license of the orphanage expired in March 2006, and had since not been renewed.

Maame Dokono used to be a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and a staunch activist of the 31st December Women's Movement, until she crossed carpet to the NPP before the just-ended elections, which saw the NPP's defeat.

She thus believes she is suffering this fate, because of her decision to throw her weight behind the NPP and Nana Akufo Addo.

If what the police are saying is anything to go by, then Maame Dokono would likely be charged with for a criminal offence, since under the provisions of the country's criminal code, a person under 12 years cannot be charged with a criminal offence, but rather the parent or guardian of the child.

Later in the day, over 200 NPP supporters, led by former National Women's Organiser of the NDC and now NPP stalwart, Frances Essiam, besieged the offices of the DOVVSU to protest against what they considered to be unfair treatment being meted out to Maame Dokono.

They accused the NDC government of politically motivating the arrest.

They, therefore, noted that they would not sit in laxity for the NDC to take the law into its own hands.

At press time yesterday, she was said to be in a crunch meeting with executives of the NPP at the party's headquarters in Accra, discussing the next line of action to be taken.

Madam Grace Omaboe was a vocal member of the Nana Addo campaign team in the run up to the December elections, and was reported to have, on numerous occasions, spoken ill of the members of the present government, which was then in opposition.