Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo, has indicated that contrary to popular belief, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata was never arrested in church.
The police, she said, visited the church only to serve the former GNPC boss but he out of displeasure started making noise which attracted other church members.
The Attorney General offered this explanation after International relations analyst, Vladimir Antwi-Danso, had used the incident as an example to warn that unless there is a tweak in the security institutions, the Vigilantism Bill will not be effective in dealing with the menace even if becomes law.
Mr Antwi-Danso was giving his remarks at a stakeholder meeting of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill, 2019.
State institutions, he said, must be devoid of political interference to ensure they discharge their mandate as required and not be used to pursue political opponents.
However, the Attorney-General offered to correct what she referred to as factual inaccuracy about the arrest.
She noted that as Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister for Justice at the time, President Kufuor was unhappy at comments the incident generated in public and therefore ordered an investigation into what transpired.
According to her, the investigation established Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata was never picked up in the first place church.
The law officers involved, she said, had tried many times to serve Mr. Tsikata with a summons to attend court but he had become elusive.
“They went to his own place of abode, his parents home in Madina and other places they felt they could find him and weeks passed, so they went to the church because they knew he will attend church that Sunday.”
She indicated that the police sought assistance of an usher at the church to invite Mr. Tsikata to speak with them.
She said,”When he came out and they attempted to serve him with the summons, of course, he was not happy and started to make noise.”
“These are the facts as I know them from the investigation. ”
“It was not intended to arrest him and there was no attempt to arrest him and he was never arrested.”
In March 2002 under the President Kufuor regime, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata was reportedly arrested while in church, which attracted national condemnation.
The government denied knowledge of any directive to have Tsikata picked at the Asbury Dunwell Methodist Church in Accra.
A statement from the police failed to address the substantive, but rather accused radio stations of announcing falsely that the “police have requested Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata to report at the Police Headquarters.”