22 persons in police custody over alleged same sex marriage

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Police in the Mpraeso District of the Eastern Region, have apprehended some 22 persons in Obomeng, a community in the district, over an alleged same sex marriage event organised for two females.

The arrest was made during the weekend following tips from community leaders who were privy to the organisation of the event.

The Obomenghene, Nana Effah Opinaman III, who spoke to Kwamina Sam Biney, co-host of Angel FM’s ‘Anɔpa Bɔfoɔ’ morning show on Monday March 29, 2021, noted that the event occurred at about 2 am Sunday dawn.

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According to him, persons involved included both males and females of different age groups, among which were underaged children i.e. people below age 18.

Acting spokesperson for the Regional Police Command, Sargent Francis Gomado, briefed Angel FM on the arrest made.

He indicated that the Policemen, on the point of making the arrest, did not find anything suggestive of a marriage ceremony but only witnessed an ongoing party.

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He said: “The Police, upon the state of the information, went to the scene and met the gathering at an enclosed place. The exact motive of the gathering wasn’t immediately known. There was no marriage blessing going on but they were having a party.

“When they were questioned, they told the Police that they were celebrating one of their ladies’ birthday. But element of lesbians meeting or getting married has not been proven yet because there is nothing for now to suggest that it was what they were doing,” Mr. Gomado added.

Explaining why they were arrested when preliminary checks proved otherwise than marriage ceremony, the Police officer noted that initially, the deployed men could make any arrest because the party—without the evidence of blessing of marriage at that moment—could not warrant their apprehension.

Furthermore, the Command, based on their preliminary checks at that moment, was “not sure whether the information came late or too early” about the marriage ceremony to help apprehend the suspects.

However, the suspects in the course of the celebration—as observed by the Policemen—did not comply with the Covid-19 safety protocols—the basis on which the arrest was made.

He said: “The Police observed that some of the Covid-19 protocols have not been strictly adhered to. So on that basis they were picked up and sent to the police station to assist in investigations.”

The 22 persons who are currently in police custody will be punished for flouting the laws regarding the observation of the Covid-19 protocols, while investigations continue on the alleged same sex marriage, according to Mr. Gomado.

If the laws are applied to the letter, the suspects are liable to a fine of Gh¢12,000 to Gh¢60,000 and or serve a prison term of four to ten years.

This is because in the year 2020, President Akufo-Addo signed an Executive Instrument (E.I.), E.I. 164 which criminalises non-compliance to covid-19 protocols particularly wearing of nose masks in public places: a law in which it is stipulated that persons found guilty are liable to such charges.

Meanwhile, the Obomeghene indicated that action would be taken against the land lord who rented out the apartment to the suspects if the outcome of their investigations prove that the apartment given was to serve the said marriage ceremony.

According to him, the event—if indeed a same sex marriage ceremony—is an abomination on the land which must be purged and persons involved punished accordingly.

He said: “We consider it an abomination which shouldn’t have happened. Customary rites would have to be performed to cleanse the place where the abominable act took place. For those who gave out their apartment to the people for the event, we will take action against them depending on what the outcome of the investigation is.”

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