Small Scale Miners President Arrested Without Official Reasons – Lawyer

The lawyer for the President of the Concerned Small Scale Miners Association has said that the police has not informed him of the reason for his client’s arrest after several hours in custody.

Bobby Banson said his client, Michael Kwadwo Peprah, was arrested in Kumasi on Saturday, August 29, 2020 and was kept at the police station as he slept on a bench.

He was transferred in the early hours of Sunday to Accra and detained at the Nima Police Station.

“Officially we don’t know why he was arrested. He was told by the officers that arrested him that he was arrested for allegedly causing fear and panic,” Mr Banson explained on Sunday afternoon at the premises of the Nima Police Station.

No charges have been pressed against Mr Peprah with that arrest coming at a time the Concerned Small Scale Miners Association is preparing for a press conference to endorse former President Mahama’s comments to return mining concessions to small-scale miners.

Bobby Banson, lawyer for Michael Peprah whp is the President of the Concerned Small Scale Miners Association
Bobby Banson, lawyer for Michael Peprah whp is the President of the Concerned Small Scale Miners Association

Mr Mahama had made the comment during his visit to the Ashanti Region.

The lawyer said he didn’t want to draw any conclusions until an official response by the police.

He indicated that his client was earlier asked to give a statement, but he declined to do that in the absence of legal representation.

The frustrated lawyer explained that “the officer that brought him (Mr Peprah) left the [Police Station] without leaving any note”.

“Nobody here seems to know why he was brought in and the person who brought him is not showing up,” he lamented.

Mr Banson said his team has been trying to reach the officers the whole day, but to no avail, so they were waiting at the Nima Police Station for the next step.  But he was hopeful of getting his client released.

He revealed that Mr Peprah was in good health and knows that he has not done anything untoward.

According to him, his client cannot be pronounced guilty until a court determines the matter and makes a pronouncement.

Some members of the NDC at the Nima Police Station
Some members of the NDC at the Nima Police Station

Meanwhile, some members of the NDC led by Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, has also stormed the Nima Police to demand the release of Mr Peprah.

Mr Gyamfi, a private legal practitioner, said the NDC was there to show solidarity over the “injustice” being meted out to Mr Peprah.

He questioned the processes of the arrest and wondered why the police would seize Mr Peprah’s phones without allowing any communication with his family or lawyers and then “you come and dump him here like a criminal”.

“Even the police officers here and the Divisional Commander do not seem to know what is happening,” he complained.

Below is a full post he made on social media before his visit to the police station:

The National Democratic Congress has just learnt of the arrest and detention of the President of the Concerned Small Scale Miners Association, Michael Kwadwo Peprah for a post he made on his Facebook wall, ahead of the Association’s planned press conference to expose the Akufo-Addo-government on mining-related issues.

Michael Kwadwo Peprah was arrested in the Ashanti region last night and is currently at the Central Police Station in Kumasi waiting to be transported to Accra.

The NDC condemns this shameful act, which is part of a desperate scheme by the oppressive and despotic Akufo-Addo-government to intimidate, harass and silence critical voices ahead of the 2020 general elections.

We are reliably informed, that as we speak, Michael Kwadwo Peprah has not been given access to his lawyers by the Police. We humbly entreat the media and CSOs to follow this matter and give it the attention it deserves.

Let speak up against the culture of oppression and tyranny being supervised by President Akufo-Addo, because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

National Communication Officer, NDC















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