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The Big Agenda: Martin Kpebu, Afia Tenge clash over GH¢14, 400 fine for breaking social gathering law

Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has argued that the penalty for violating the President’s Social Gathering Restriction Law is too harsh.

Speaking on Adom TV’s popular programme, The Big Agenda, hosted by Captain Smart on Tuesday evening, Mr Kpebu said the “poor offenders just can’t pay” the huge fine as punishment for violating the directive.

Martin Kpebu

Martin Kpebu

He was responding to a recent court judgment that required some six offenders to pay GH¢ 14, 400 fine each. In default, they will spend five years in prison.

Background

It would be recalled that on April 18, 2020, personnel of the Ghana Police Service rounded up six people who held an outdoor party at Teshie. They were part of some 50 participants.

The party contravened Act 101(2) recently passed as a measure to enforce social distancing to contain the dreaded Covid-19.

Justifying the need for the punishment to serve as deterrent to others, the Greater Accra Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Deputy Superintendent of Police Mrs Afia Tenge said some people deliberately set out to break the law and deserve such punishments.

Asked to react to the ‘too harsh’ complaint, the PRO said the police don’t determine penalties for convicts.

She, however, endorsed the GH¢14, 400.00 or five-year jail term, saying it is a necessary deterrent.

According to her, all those arrested over the last three weeks for breaching Covid-19 orders must get ready for court.

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