The Agona Swedru Magistrate Court has sentenced a 24-year-old activist of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Agona East Constituency, Mohammed Haadi, to a fine of GH¢1,200 for defacing posters of Professor Kwesi Yankah, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant.
The court, presided over by Mr Isaac Apeatu, ordered Haadi to compensate the complainant with GH¢500. The convict is also to sign a bond to be of good behaviour for six months or in default serve a three-month prison term.
PleaHaadi pleaded guilty with explanation to the charge of removal of poster and banner contrary to Section 8 of the Representation of the People Law, 1992 (PNDC Law 284).
In his explanation, Haadi told the court that he only defaced one poster and not 100 posters as had been indicated in the charge against him. The prosecution then amended the charge taking into account Haadi’s explanation, and he was subsequently convicted on his own plea of guilty by the court.
Prosecuting, Inspector Chare N. Salia said on Sunday, April 5, 2020, three members of the Agona East NPP reported Haadi to the Mankrong Junction Police for allegedly defacing posters and other paraphernalia of the party.
He indicated that as part of preparations towards the upcoming general election on December 7, 2020, political parties and aspirants were displaying posters and banners of their respective candidates in the constituency.
However, he noted that members of the NPP realised that unknown persons were destroying, removing and defacing the NPP aspirant’s posters and banners within the Mankrong Junction town and its environs.
According to the prosecutor, the constituency executive and party supporters mounted surveillance between January and March 2020 and Haadi was arrested in the act of removing one poster of Prof. Yankah. He was arrested and handed over to the police for investigation and after that, Haadi admitted the offence in his caution statement and was duly charged and arraigned before the court.