There was drama at the National Security Ministry as lawyers for the victims of the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election violence rejected a compensation package for their clients while calling for more engagement and transparency on the matter.
The lawyers, Abraham Amaliba and Victor Kodjoga Adawudu said the Ministry did not engage them and therefore they were unaware of what went into the computation of the compensation package.
They described it as an “ambush”.
“See, if you invite the individuals to come and provide some documentation and they have come to provide the documentation and that has lasted for two months that is not negotiations. In fact if they had told them that they needed to come here with their lawyers, they would have done so by informing us.
“But today, they were asked to come here for a meeting. They assumed that this is the beginning of the negotiation… and that is where the surprised element comes in,” said Abraham Amaliba.
According to him, they suggested that the compensation process should be held for transparency sake until the lawyers engaged the National Security to understand how the figures were arrived at in order to break it down for their clients.
“We are not against the compensation but we just think that the right thing should be done. We want to bring to their attention the fact that two of the victims are virtually vegetables now and cannot engage in meaningful work to feed their family.. that must be factored into the compensation package, the level of compensation will depend on the extent of damage sustained,” he added.
The Chief Director of the National Security Ministry, Lieutenant Colonel Ababio Serebour (rtd) had no choice but to reschedule the planned ceremony to next week Thursday for the aggrieved parties to iron out their differences.
“This country is for all of us. We should not be politicising things, do you understand? They are aware. If you ask them, they are aware so if you are their lawyers, fine, but don’t say that you are surprised. We haven’t surprised you. They are the people that we are dealing with. Just take a date,” he said.
On his part, the Director of Legal at the National Security Ministry, Osei Bonsu Dickson said they had prior engagement with the victims and asked them to bring persons who they will want to be part of the negotiations.
“So when you’re invited to communicate with your intermediaries, your lawyers and things like that, it is okay. In most cases they came directly. Some also came with their spouses. As far as we are concerned, they always had the opportunity to engage which ever lawyer or solicitor,” he said.
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