Supreme Court nominee, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu says government’s rejection of some recommendations made by the Emile Short Commission after the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence does not question the competence of the Commission.

Prof Mensa-Bonsu was part of the three-member committee constituted by President Akufo-Addo to make full inquiry into the circumstances leading to the violence during the by-election held on January 31.

After a month’s work, the Commission presented its report to President Akufo-Addo.

But the White Paper released by the Presidency said “the fundamental response of government to the findings of the Report is that the Report failed to address the first and most critical of the terms of reference of the Commission, which was “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 Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election on the 31st day of January, 2019”.

“The failure to do so disables Government from accepting in whole the findings of the Commission. Some of the findings are accepted by Government whereas others are rejected.”

Asked by North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa if that response was an indictment on the Commission’s work, Prof Mensa-Bonsu who was being vetted said it was not the case.

According to her, “it is customary when people draft appeals to say that the judgement is against the weight of the evidence. So I do not see it except in that light.

“And enough of the recommendations were accepted for that not to be wholly correct. Yes, the language may have been infelicitous but the constitution uses that language so anybody who wants to question something would be right to use that language but I don’t think it questions our competence in anyway, no,” she added.

Implementation of recommendations

In response to whether she is concerned government has not implemented the recommendations, Prof Mensa-Bonsu said it is not the duty of members of the Commission to push for the implementation of the report.

According to her, it is the responsibility of Parliamentarians and other institutions to push for such implementations.

“We are guided by law. The rules say that when you hand in your report, you are functus officio. So it is not your duty to go chasing people to implement. The commission doesn’t exist anymore.

“When for example, judges make decisions in the court, the judge may have really sweated over the decision, it goes on appeal and it is reversed, the judge doesn’t hold a press conference to complain. That’s the nature of it.

“When you give counsel, you hope that it will be taken but what I know is that those who want it don’t need it and those who need it don’t want it,” she added.