Military Commander ordered invasion of Parliament – Kan Dapaah

National Security Minister-designate, Albert Kan Dapaah, has told Parliament’s Appointments Committee that the soldiers who stormed the Chamber of the House at the election of a new Speaker in the wee hours of January 7 did so on the orders of a commander.

According to him, the commander, who he did not name, felt things were getting out of hand in the Chamber, thus, deployed his subordinates to restore order in the House.

“A commander felt things were getting out of order and decided to deploy the military to restore order.

“When I saw it, I was also alarmed so, I did take the trouble to find out how it happened. It was that simple, somebody, a commander in his opinion thought that things were getting out of hand in the chamber and that he needed to go there to try to restore order.

“I questioned him ‘why did you think your presence there was going to frighten them, or could you arrest them. No, you couldn’t have arrested anybody there.

“It was an unfortunate incident and we wish it never happens again. Let me agree with you that, going forward this is not something we should encourage and hope that it doesn’t happen again,” the minister-designate told the Committee in Accra on Wednesday.

The Chief of Defence Staff, he, however, disclosed has been directed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to investigate the incident for appropriate sanctions proffered against the said commander.

“I know that the CDS has been asked to investigate the matter and to take the appropriate action if he also comes by the conclusion that what was done was totally unprofessional.

“Orders have already been given for the CDS to take the appropriate action and nobody should underestimate the significance of what happened,” Mr Kan Dapaah said.

Unfortunate as the incident was, Kan Dapaah said he was relieved nobody was harmed when the armed soldiers invaded the chamber.

The heavily armed soldiers entered the chamber after protracted disagreement between the New Patriotic Party Members of Parliament elect and their colleagues from the National Democratic Congress over the modalities being used in the election of the Speaker.

Their entrance into the chamber followed three failed attempts by the MPs-elect to agree on the modality leading to near fisticuffs between the caucuses.

Upon entering the chamber, they formed a human wall between the two caucuses to avoid clashes but had to leave after about 20 minutes as the NDC MPs insisted on their exit.

The invasion has roundly been condemned by all sections of the Ghanaian public with many calling for a bipartisan probe into same.

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