Togolese ‘Minor’ Bailed

Faure Gnassingbe, Togolese President

A Togolese protestor, who claims to be 11 years old, has been granted bail by an Accra circuit court.

The supposed minor was arrested with 25 Togolese protestors on October 28, 2017 by the Greater Regional police at Kawukudi Park, near Nima, where they had converged to demonstrate against the Gnassingbe Eyadema dynasty in Togo.

His plea could not be taken on October 31 when the protestors appeared before the court, due to his age.

The other accused persons were each granted bail in the sum of GH¢1,000 with one surety, who must be gainfully employed.

However, the supposed minor was remanded into custody since the whereabouts of his parents or guardians could not be immediately traced.

Subsequent to his detention, his lawyer applied to the court to grant him bail.

But the court, presided over by a relieving judge, Ruby Naa Ayiakai Aryeetey, ordered the police to take the accused to the Police Hospital to determine his age.

In court on Wednesday, the prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Kese, told the court that the result was not ready.

This, he said, was the reason why the ‘minor’ was brought to court.

But lawyer for the Togolese protestors, Godwin Tamakloe, prayed the court to grant the boy bail while the police await the outcome of the test.

He said failure by the police to get the result should not be grounds for the liberties of the ‘minor’ to be curtailed.

He added that the boy’s age could be determined during the trial.

The court, presided over by Mrs. Priscilla Dapaah-Mireku, wondered why the boy had been detained when she had granted all the protestors bail.

According to her, although the plea of the ‘minor’ could not be taken because of his age, the bail granted him applied to all the 26 accused persons.

She therefore ordered the police to release the ‘minor’ who had been in custody for about three weeks.

The substantive case has been adjourned to November 30, 2017.

The Greater Accra Police Command on October 28, 2017, arrested the Togolese and some Ghanaians who were clad in red attires and headbands at the Kawukudi Park.

They demonstrated against the government of Togo to press home their demand for constitutional reforms in that country.

The accused persons were reportedly riding motorbikes recklessly on the Nima Highway, which according to the police, posed security threat to the public.

By Gibril Abdul Razak