The Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament has described as misplaced political argument, a call by the Minority for a Commission, instead of a Committee of Inquiry to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of two persons in Ejura on Tuesday, June 29.
Alexander Afenyo-Markin, speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Wednesday, explained that it is prudent for Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery to set up a public inquiry upon the directive of the President to probe the matter because such investigations fall within the jurisdiction of the Ministry.
Earlier, the Minority in Parliament rejected the President’s directive to the Minister for Interior to institute a public inquiry into circumstances leading to the death of two persons during a clash with Military personnel.
Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu explained that state security agencies cannot be relied upon to ensure an objective inquiry, hence their recommendation for a Commission of inquiry in line with provisions of the 1992 Constitution.
“Understandably we have heard President Akufo-Addo instruct the Minister for Interior for a Committee of Inquiry into this matter, we reject it, that is not good enough. We want a Commission of Inquiry within the meaning of article 278, of the 1992 Constitution.
“The President must appoint a sole commissioner or two or more persons to support a commissioner just like the Emile Short Commission on the Ayawaso West Wuogon [by election],” he stated.
But during the aforementioned interview, Mr Afenyo-Markin disagreed with the Minority, “I completely disagree with them and I think that it is a misplaced political argument. A Minister of state has the responsibility to address matters in his or her sector Ministry, therefore, this matter having arisen, requires a Committee to look at it.
“A Ministerial Committee to look into a matter like this, it wouldn’t be out of place so if somebody gets up and says that there should be a Commission and not a Committee, what is it that the Committee cannot do that it will take a Commission to do,” he told TopStory host, Evans Mensah.
He stressed that the Minority’s demand lacks legal basis to support their argument.
He added that: “A Ministerial Committee as we all know is charged with inquiring, fact-finding mission – find out what really happened, making recommendations for implementation as swiftly as possible. So the President calling on the Minister to set a Ministerial Committee to investigate is right on point.”
The Tamale South MP, Haruna Iddrisu raised concerns that leaving the investigations in the hands of the security agencies will hinder the progress of investigation.
“We want that type of Commission of Inquiry, not a Ministerial one. There is the complicity of state security agencies, they cannot absorb themselves. More significantly is the worrying absorption into the security agencies, in particular the Police and the Ghana Armed Forces, of NPP apparatchiks vigilantes. They are not professional, [and], they can never be professional.
“You know their modus operandi as they chase NPP Ministers out [of office]. We are not surprised that they may be at the centre of this,” he said.
Refuting claims of a possible complicity, the Deputy Majority leader noted that it is the Ministry of Interior tasked to take up investigations and not the security service.
For the Effutu legislator, patience should be exercised to know the individuals who will make up the Committee, rather than attacking a committee yet to be constituted.
“It is not the Police that is going to investigate the matter. It is the Ministry that is going to set up the Committee. Let’s wait for the Ministry to come out with the names of those who constitute the membership of the Committee. Let’s see and evaluate their work and see whether they have done a good job. If there is transparency and all that.
“How do you justify that the Police are complicit in this matter? This is a security matter,” he noted.
On Monday, June 28, social activisit, Ibrahim Mohammed known as Kaaka was pronounced dead at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital after an attack against him on Saturday.
Following his demise, the youth of Ejura hit the streets on Tuesday to demand justice and accountability. But the protest turned turbulent after the peeved protestors clashed with Military personnel.
Two persons were shot dead while four others suffered various injuries. The deceased are; Abdul Nasir Yussif, 25, and Muntala Mohammed, 26.
Meanwhile, according to Mr Afenyo-Markin, government is concerned about the Ejura incident and instead of being condemned, “the President should rather be commended for asking the Ministry of Interior to investigate the matter.”
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