The Asokwa Circuit Court, presided over by Fred Obikyere, has remanded Razak Koampa Avoliya, 32, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) constituency Youth Organiser for Suame into police custody, over unsavoury comments he made in public.
Razak Koampa Avoliya, who is also known as ‘Mosquito’, turned himself to the police after being declared wanted for threatening violence against the New Patriotic Party members in Suame, ahead of the 2024 polls.
Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) thronged the court premises, with some wearing dresses with the hashtag #IstandwithRazak.
About a quarter to midday, Mosquito, who was in a dominant white shirt over jeans was brought to court amid tight security.
The police swerved the NDC members who had massed up at the court’s entrance by using an exit door of the court. The NDC supporters later besieged the said entrance, chanting their revolutionary songs, but the police swiftly locked up the gate.
At the hearing, the prosecutor of the case, ACP Kofi Blagodzi, explained to the court that on February 5, 2023 the police intercepted a video of Mosquito, where he was seen inciting violence against members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at an event organised by the Suame constituency branch of the NDC.
On the basis of this, ACP Blagodzi told the court that the 32-year-old politician has been charged with offensive conduct, conducive to breaches of the peace, as stated in Section 207 of the Criminal Offences Act, (Act 29).
The prosecutor insisted that Mosquito incited his colleague NDC members to kill the NPP members in Suame constituency and, therefore, prayed the court to remand him since police are not done with the investigation into the case.
He argued that the statement from ‘Mosquito’ could plunge Ghana into a state of ‘chaos and anarchy’, hence the need to remand him.
Prior to the submissions of the prosecutor, counsel for ‘Mosquito’, Evans Amankwa, rejected the content of the viral video the prosecutor was relying on, arguing that police had distorted it.
Amankwa told the court that Mosquito only sought to ask his party members to fortify themselves and did not threaten to kill, as is being alleged by the police. He prayed the court to grant his client bail since he voluntarily turned himself in to the police.
Counsel Amankwa, who was accompanied by two lawyers, argued that there are people of substance, including himself, who could stand for surety for the accused.
He further told the court that Mosquito has a fixed place of abode and has a family, hence he would easily be available for the case.
The judge, Fred Obikyere, then asked ACP Kofi Blagodzi if indeed Mosquito voluntarily turned himself in to the police, a question the prosecutor could not answer.
The judge then put the same question to the Ashanti Regional Crime Officer, who responded in the affirmative, that the accused person indeed came to the Ashanti Regional Police Command with his lawyer on Wednesday, after the police had declared him wanted.
The court, however, ruled that though Mosquito voluntarily turned himself in to the police, he was constrained by the assertion and the statement he made, which could have adverse implications on national security.
The court, therefore, rejected the bail application and remanded the accused into police custody and adjourned the case to February 14, 2023.
In a post court interview with the media, counsel for the accused, Evans Amankwa, noted that in as much as he does not agree with the judge, he respects the discretional decision not to grant bail.
Reacting to a decision by the court that the statement made by Mosquito was a threat to national security, Amankwa argued that the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong and Sammi Awuku, the CEO of National Lottery Authority (NLA) had made serious statements in the past but they were all left off the hook.