A youth group belonging to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Tamale called the Concerned Elephants Youth Association (CEYA) have threatened to embark on a nationwide demonstration in protest over the continued detention of five of their members since 2009.
The group described as unconstitutional, the detention and snail-paced trial of Yahuza Yakubu, Abibu Dagbana, Majeed Alhassan, Alhassan Sayibu and Imoro Gundaana who have been in prison custody and are standing trial in a Tamale High Court since 2009.
The Concerned Elephants Youth Association also gave government a five day ultimatum to impress upon the Attorney General’s Department to transfer the case to an Accra Fast Track High Court for speedy trial.
Harunah Rashid, Secretary of the Association, announced the group’s decision at a news conference at the weekend in Tamale. “It is a fact that the fundamental human rights of our brothers have been infringed upon and we are no longer going to sit unconcerned for them to be used as sacrificial lambs for mere political gains” he warned.
He maintained that the Mills-Mahama NDC administration will face a series of nationwide demonstrations if the five day ultimatum given for the case to be transferred to an Accra Fast Track Court elapses without a positive response.
He asserted that government was afraid to transfer the case to Accra because of the high profile cases it has lost in the courts, the latest being the Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II murder case.
Harunah Rashid said the group members were convinced that the continued detention of their five “innocent brothers” formed part of the NDC government's calculated attempt to intimidate and put fear in the NPP youth ahead of the 2012 general elections.
“During the last court hearing, we were compelled to believe that the continuous detention of those five innocent gentlemen of our party formed part of the ruling NDC government’s calculated attempts to silence our youth in Tamale and put fear in some of us before the 2012 general elections” he alleged.
The Concerned Elephants Youth Association members on Tuesday September 28, 2010 defied a heavy downpour and hit some principal streets in Tamale in a massive demonstration. At the end of the demonstration, they presented a petition to the northern regional minister to be forwarded to President J.EA Mills but they say it has since not been given the needed attention.
Yahuza Yakubu, Abibu Dagbana, Majeed Alhassan, Alhassan Sayibu and Imoro Gundaana were arrested as a result of a political clash between NPP and NDC youth in front of the old butchers’ house at the Tamale Central Market on February 17, 2009.
During that clash, one Rashid Alhassan, an NDC member died, leading to the burning of 27 houses, vehicles, motorbikes and other valuables belonging to NPP members in Gumbihini, Choggu and other surrounding communities in the Tamale metropolis.
Source: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/citifmonline.Com/Ghana
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