The 13 members of Delta Force, a New Patriotic Party-affiliated group, who stormed the Ashanti Regional Security Council and attacked a public officer, have been fined GHc 1,800 each or in default, serve 12 months imprisonment.
The accused persons pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit crimes and rioting at the Asokwa District Court in Kumasi.They have also signed a bond to be of good behavior for 12 months, after their Lawyer, Federick Kankam Boadu, had pleaded for a non-custodial sentence for them.
The 13 were arrested after they stormed the office of the newly appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Adjei, in March 201y7, and assaulted him in the process, in protest against his appointment.
They were initially facing charges of conspiracy to assault a public officer, and causing unlawful damage.
Those charges were reviewed to only rioting by the Kumasi Circuit Court on October 10.
Counseling for the 13
The Ashanti Regional Director of the Delta Force, Mohammed Seidu, who spoke to Citi News, expressed excitement at the ruling, though he admitted that the conduct of the 13 was not in order.
He however said the leadership of the Delta Force could not have left them to their fate when they were sent to court.
Mohammed Seidu added that, the group was going to begin counseling members of the group to be of good behavior.
He maintained that the group was not as violent as being put out in the public domain, as they would continue to provide security for the NPP.
This seemingly brings an end to a saga that began on March 24, 2017, when concerns over post-election violence were rife after the NPP assumed the mantle of governance.
This particular incident involving the Delta Force ironically came a few days after President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was on a tour of the Ashanti Region, assured that the rule of law will work without “fear or favour” when he called the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The public was left stunned when at their first appearance in court, the 13 escaped from lawful custody, after their eight compatriots sparked confusion in the court in protest of the Judge’s ruling that the 13 be remanded and not given bail.
After the judge’s decision to remand the suspects, the members said they were not going to allow the ruling to stand, and demanded that the 13 leave the court with them.
The 13 later reported themselves to the police, and were fined GHc2,400 each, and also made to sign a bond of good behavior for escaping lawful custody.
Eight Delta Force members were accused of aiding the escape, and were charged for storming the court to release the 13.
But the charges were eventually dropped under controversial circumstances by the State for lack of evidence.
The Attorney-General’s Department at the time said it had not sanctioned the state prosecutor in Kumasi to drop the case involving the eight who raided the court.
This angered many Ghanaians who felt the eight persons had been let off the hook after a brazen attack on the Judiciary for political reasons.