A leading social activist in Ghana, Oliver Barker-Vormawor has been charged with treason after making claims of carrying out a coup if a controversial electronic levy policy is passed by the country’s parliament.
State prosecutors charged him with treason when he was arraigned in court on Monday. He has also been remanded into police custody till February 28.
Barker-Vormawor’s lawyers had pleaded for him to be bailed at Monday’s court hearing but the prosecutors opposed the plea and asked that he be remanded due to the nature of the case.
Barker-Vormawor who is a convenor of the popular pressure group #FixtheCountry Movement was arrested by operatives from the National Security at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The lawyer and Cambridge University PhD student was picked up upon arriving from the United Kingdom on Friday evening.
He wrote on his Facebook account that “If this E-Levy passes after this Cake bullshit, I will do the coup myself. Useless Army!”
In a social media post, supporters of the movement demanded the release of their convenor, as they describe his detention as unwarranted.
— Fixthecountry (@Ghfixthecountry) February 14, 2022
The police have explained that Baker-Vormawor was arrested for allegedly threatening to stage a coup over the imposition of a levy on electronic transactions.
The decision by the government of Ghana to introduce the levy on electronic transactions had left many citizens infuriated.
The government wants to impose a 1.75 percent levy on all electronic transactions such as mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances.
Although the government plans to use some of the proceeds to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs for the youth, many Ghanaians have kicked against it.