Shalimar Abbiusi, a 30-year-old Belgian national and spokesperson for the newly formed political group, The New Force, has been released on bail.
Abbiusi was granted bail in the amount of GHC 20,000 with two sureties after appearing in the Kaneshie District Court to face criminal charges.
Citing her innocence, Abbiusi pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against her.
The news of her release brought cheers and joy from parents and supporters gathered outside the court premises.
Accompanied by her parents, Abbiusi’s family also joined in the jubilation.
The charges against Abbiusi stem from allegations of falsifying documents to obtain a resident permit in Ghana.
This news has attracted the attention of many young people, who have been seen at the court wearing black t-shirts with inscriptions demanding the release of Shalimar Abbiusi and advocating for the protection of democratic rights.
Protesters also held placards with various messages highlighting the arrest of Abbiusi.
Prior to her release, Abbiusi’s parents were seen pleading for their daughter’s freedom, emphasizing that she meant no harm.
Lawyer Francis Xavier Sosu, counsel for Abbiusi, expressed dissatisfaction with the National Investigations Bureau (NIB) for keeping her in custody for seven days after bail was granted, and called for her immediate release.
The charges against Abbiusi include the violation of section 52 (1) (i) of the Immigration Act 2000 (Act 573), which pertains to “Obtaining for Yourself a Student Permit by False Declaration.” According to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Abbiusi falsely claimed to be a student of Ghana Christian University College in an attempt to evade legal requirements.
She is accused of knowingly making false declarations that enabled her to acquire a student permit.
The GIS initiated legal proceedings against Abbiusi on December 6, 2023, and the case is currently being heard in the District Court of Kaneshie, Accra.
Her arrest occurred after she was summoned by the Head of the National Enforcement Section at the Immigration Headquarters to address concerns about her immigration status in Ghana.
The GIS became aware of her activities through social media, where she publicized the formation of The New Force and identified herself as one of its spokespersons.
Investigations into the matter have revealed that Abbiusi first entered Ghana in 2017 and had been visiting regularly until 2018 when she claimed to become a resident due to enrollment at Ghana Christian University College.
However, investigations conducted by the college revealed that she had never been a student, and supporting documents for her residence permit were found to be forged.
Ongoing investigations seek to uncover the full extent of the issues surrounding The New Force political group.
By Vincent Kubi