Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi, the Chairman of the Eastern Regional Legal Team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has reacted to recent news about the endorsement of a presidential candidate by Delta Force, a paramilitary group within the ruling NPP which was allegedly disbanded after the passage of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 (Act 999).
According to Lawyer Minta Larbi, the endorsement by the group clearly shows that contrary to the impression created, the Delta Force is still in existence within the ruling NPP.
His comments comes after a surprising turn of events which saw the controversial group allegedly issuing a video statement endorsing a Presidential Aspirant.
This endorsement has raised eyebrows and ignited concerns about the enforcement of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act 2019 (Act 999) in Ghana.
The history of political party-affiliated security groups in the country is not forgotten. Both the NDC and the NPP once had their own para security groups, which led to growing unrest. In response, Ghana decided to prioritize national security agencies’ authority and disband these political party-affiliated groups.
This led to the enactment of the Vigilantism law, making it unlawful for any group to establish its security force outside government control.
According to Lawyer Minta Larbi, Section 6 of Act 999 explicitly prohibits political parties from maintaining Vigilantism groups.
He explained that Delta Force’s recent video statement endorsing a Presidential Aspirant is enough evidence of the group’s continued existence.
He believes that it is not only surprising but also concerning, as it implies that this affiliated group is still operating, albeit discreetly, despite the Vigilantism law.
Below is his full statement;
IT IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE THAT A GROUP CALLING ITSELF DELTA FORCE WOULD ISSUE A STATEMENT SUPPORTING ANY CANDIDATE IN GHANA.
There was a time in this country when both the NDC and the NPP had their own para security groups that were apparently providing them with their own security besides that of the State.
Then at some point looking at how things were clearly getting out of hand we all as a country decided that we should rather allow our national security agencies to do their work and disband these groups affiliated with the political parties.
It was important that we strengthened our security agencies so that they could provide the needed security to all manner of persons irrespective of color, creed, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc in the interest of the country.
Thus, we then proceeded to pass the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act 2019, (Act 999) which is popularly known as the Vigilante law.
Since then it is unlawful, in fact it has always been unlawful for anyone to establish a security group anywhere in the country except under the ambit of the government
In fact section 6 of the Act 999 proscribes political parties related Vigilantism.
After passing such a law which happened under the administration of this NPP government, no one expects that any such group would continue to operate or exist in this country.
It is therefore completely unacceptable that a group calling itself Delta Force would issue a video statement endorsing a Presidential Aspirant.
We know the Delta Force as a Vigilante group that is affiliated with the NPP so it is surprising the very NPP government that led the passing of the law would have the Delta Force issue a video statement during it’s tenure apparently exposing the fact that this group is still in existence.
What this means is that this group which we all know is an affiliate of the NPP continues to exist albeit secretly.
And if that is the case that would be wrongful, unlawful and completely unacceptable.
It also presupposes that the NPP government which led the whole process of the Vigilante law didn’t want to comply with it and misled all of us.
What we don’t want is a country of chaos and that’s why the Vigilante law was passed and we do not want to go back to the days when both NDC and NPP had their own para security groups.
We are expecting the government to issue a statement not only to condemn the conduct of the so called Delta Force but to also assure everyone in this country that it is still not keeping this group behind the scenes.
Next year is an election year and the NPP government is fully responsible for anything that would happen in this country going into the elections.
We also expect the Ghana Police Service to swiftly move to disband any such group if they continue to exist.
If this cannot happen, then as a lawyer for the party, together with our group of lawyers, would advise the NDC party on its rights going forward.
We won’t allow ourselves to be short changed especially on matters of security going into the 2024 elections.
Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi
Eastern Legal Team, NDC.