President of the Institute for Security of Disaster and Emergency Studies, Dr Ismael Norman

The Institute for Security of Disaster and Emergency Studies has added its voice to calls for a full-blown Commission of Inquiry into the killing of two civilians at Ejura in the Ashanti Region on June 29.

President of the Institute, Dr Ismael Norman sees it as highly unrealistic for the Interior Ministry to carry out a foolproof investigation into the action of the Ghana Police Service which falls directly within its remits.

“They are going to protect their own. People who are responsible are not going to own up to it. They’re going to find language to cover themselves,” he argued on JoyNews.

The two were killed by security operatives who shot into the crowd to quell a demonstration over the death of social activist, Kaaka who had been mobbed days earlier supposedly over his activism work exposing inadequacies in the district.

The development has received widespread condemnation with many demanding accountability as far as the perpetrators are concerned.

President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday instructed the Interior Minister to set up a committee to probe the circumstances surrounding the killing.

Speaking on PM Express on Thursday, Dr Norman posited that the current scope of the President’s directive leaves room for the Ministry to cover up crucial details to potentially evade complicity.

Though he agrees with the President’s move for a probe, he believes a Commission of Inquiry will do a better job at bringing closure adding that “he [Interior Minister] is not the right person to chair the inquiry.”

“He [Ambrose Dery] needs to be questioned. He need to be interrogated. What order did he give? Who gave the order? Was he aware of the order? And if he wasn’t aware, why not?”

Dr Norman further believes that the Minister, Ambrose Dery is a ‘person of interest’ in the case and would amount to conflict of interest in a situation where he will have to testify as part of the probe.

“The Minister of Interior is a person of interest. It is under his ministry that this whole thing happened. So if he is the one who is going to chair the investigation, how do we fund his culpability in all of this?”

He says this suggestion, if considered will go a long way to help advance the cause.

“So I think in the interest of probity, accountability and transparency, we may have to opt for a commission of inquiry because a lot of things internally are going to be swept under the carpet.”

On the decision to deploy the military in the said operation, Dr Norman insisted that under no circumstance should soldiers have been used as a first alternative to quell local demonstration because “they have been trained to shoot to kill”.

The President’s directive, meanwhile, gives the Minister, ten days to provide a detailed report of the inquiry.

“The Interior Minister is to provide a detailed report from the inquiry, with recommendations for appropriate action to be taken by July 9, 2021”, parts of the statement read.

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