GOV’T REJECTS PORTIONS OF EMILE SHORT C’SSION REPORT

GOVERNMENT has rejected some of the recommendations contained in the Emile Short chaired Commission of Inquiry which investigated the gun violence that rocked the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in January this year.

Government in a leaked White Paper on the Commission’s work argued that, “The report failed to address the first and most critical of the terms of reference of the commission.”

“The failure to do so disables government from accepting in whole the findings of the commission,” the White Paper said.

The three-member Commission, constituted by the Vice President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, on the direction of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was tasked to “to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to the events and associated violence that occurred during the Aysawaso West Wuogon by-election”.

The empanelling of the Commission which had Professor Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu, a law lecturer and Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, a former Inspector General of Police as members was occasioned by the violence visited on unarmed civilians thought to be members of the opposition National Democratic Congress by mask-wearing National Security operatives.

Apart from the assault on the civilians in the residence of the then parliamentary candidate of the NDC, Delali Akwesi Brempong, the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George was also seen being assaulted by one of the heavily built security operatives.

The Commission after its 30-day sitting recommended that Ernest Akomea, also known as ‘Double’ is criminally prosecuted for the “unauthorised possession of firearms under section 192(1) of the Criminal Offences Act”.

It also recommended the criminal prosecution of Mohammed Sulemana, the personnel who assaulted the Ningo-Prampram lawmaker, and the immediate removal of DSP Samuel Kojo Azugu, from command responsibility at the Ministry of National Security.

The Commission also recommended the reprimand of Mr Bryan Acheampong, the Minister of State in-charge-of National Security, Colonel Mike Opoku, Director of Operations at the National Security, for their respective roles in the violence.

But the government in the White Paper, in relation to recommendations for the prosecution of Mohammed Sulemana said the Commission in its report said recommendations for the prosecution of Mr Sulemana was flawed.

This is because the White Paper said the action Mr Sulemana was in defence of a provocation of the lawmaker, as stated by the Commission in its own report.  

It argued that the facts presented by the commission supported “a valid defence of provocation for the said assault”.

On the criminal prosecution of ‘Double’ the White Paper said the issue has been forwarded to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service for further investigation.

Disagreeing with the Commission that “there is a lack of clarity of responsibility and roles as well as lines of reporting,” the government’s White Paper said that the argument does not hold.

It said the 1992 Constitution and the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1996 “spells out clearly the responsibilities and roles of the various offices within the national security establishment” and that was what happened at the bye-election.

Government, meanwhile, is in favour of compensation for persons who were injured in the melee.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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