Barker-Vormawor driven out of court …following exchanges with judge

The #FixTheCountry Movement Convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, was driven out of the Ashaiman District courtroom by presiding Magistrate, Eleanor Barnes Botwe, after he engaged her in exchanges during proceedings, yesterday.

Some of the fixthecountry activists at the precincts of the court.

It all started when accused’s lead counsel, Justice Srem Sai, had inquired about the court’s authority to deal with matters that affect the liberty of his client.

“Whether this court has the jurisdiction to determine the personal liberty, for there is no point in bringing an accused to a court for his liberty to be decided when that court has no capacity or jurisdiction to determine this,” the lawyer argued.

In reply, State Prosecutor Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Sylvestre Asare, said that the case was at the right forum since the charge of treason felony levelled against accused was an indictable offence.

The judge said that the trial of such cases must commence at the District Court and reminded Mr Barker-Vormawor’s legal team that she had earlier ruled that she had the mandate to remand accused and that if they wanted to request bail, the appropriate forum was the High Court.

At this juncture, Barker-Vormawor, retorted:  “We have not asked for bail.”

Judge Botwe cautioned him to keep quiet as two police personnel went closer to calm him down.

But Barker-Vormawor, continued, “We have not asked for bail. This is a kangaroo process. The bench has not covered itself in glory. I am not going to glorify a sham.”

Judge Botwe warned the lawyers to restrain their client, but he continued: “This process is a sham.”

She asked the police to take Barker-Vormawor away, which they obliged and whisked him into a waiting police van outside the court.

The court directed the defense to go to the Supreme Court for matters regarding constitutional interpretation.

It urged the police to speed up investigation to ensure a swift trial, and adjourned case to March 15.

Mr Barker-Vormawor, who was arrested on February 11th, 2022, for a post he allegedly posted on social media platform on February 9, that he would stage a coup should the E-Levy Bill be passed by Parliament, has been charged with treason felony.

The police said Mr Barker-Vormawor’s “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 of Ghana.”

He first appeared at the court on February 14, but his plea has not been taken.

Some supporters of the movement carrying placards waited in the court premises in solidarity with their leader, while police in riot gear watched with eagle eyes to maintain law and order.

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