Expedite action on electoral violence cases – CDD-Ghana

The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has called on the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and other relevant stakeholders with information on the cases of electoral violence recorded in the 2020 general elections to update the public on such cases and expedite actions in resolving them.

This, is to help seek justice for victims and families who lost relatives during the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections and strengthen their trust in the country’s criminal justice system.

These were contained in recommendations by the CDD-Ghanain its report on the “Validation of Cases of Electoral Violence Associated with Election 2020” signed and issued in Accra last Friday.

The centre with support from the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)tracked the status of electoral violence cases recorded in the 2020 elections in 11 constituencies in six (6) out of the 16 administrative regions in Ghana.

The goal of the project titled, “Post-Elections Accountability on Elections Security,” was to advocate for the speedy resolution of all the cases to engender public trust in the security and criminal justice system and limit the tendency for potential reprisal attacks in future elections.

The Attorney General (AG) was therefore also urged to expeditiously consider cases forwarded to his Office for advice to enable prosecutions to commence. 

“We urge the courts that have commenced hearing of the cases to consider the circumstances of these cases and the implications on Ghana’s democratic and rule of law credentials and give expeditious hearings for appropriate and deserved justice for the victims, and also serve as a deterrent to others,” the report added.

The Centre in collaboration with its partners again indicated the need for continuous sensitisation and public education on the effects of electoral violence in affected communities by agencies such as the National Peace Council (NPC), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Also, the Legal Aid Board was charged to provide legal support to victims of electoral violence so that they can have legal advice on their cases and how to proceed with follow-up in their pursuit for justice.

“The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of National Security must take steps to support the affected victims and their families,” the report added.

The CDD-Ghana, WANEP and the NCCE therefore indicated that they would continue to monitor and update the public on the status of the cases for the next two months.

The project partners also commiserated with the victims and families for their loss and urged them to remain calm and have trust in the criminal justice system to deliver justice to them.

CDD-Ghana conducted a desk review of cases reported in the news media about election-related violence during Ghana’s 2020 general elections. Each case was thoroughly profiled, and incidents involving deaths, physical harm, gun violence, and property destruction were prioritised for consideration. 

The centre, in collaboration with the NCCE followed up on the cases to validate these reported incidents at the respective constituencies and Regional Police Commands where the incidents were said to have occurred.

The fieldwork took place from December 6 to 10, 2021 and a total of 12 cases from 11 constituencies were validated.

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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