OccupyGhana wants Emile Short Commission to dig deep into shooting incident

OccupyGhana wants Emile Short Commission to dig deep into shooting incident
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | GN
Date: 07-02-2019 Time: 08:02:20:am
Francis Emile Short

Pressure group, OccupyGhana, says it is impressed by the calibre and reputation of persons selected to probe the shooting incident during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election last week.

Six persons sustained gunshot wounds when armed personnel from the National Security apparatus stormed a polling station at La Bawaleshie.

It is not clear what prompted the firing of the guns, but the police have launched their own investigation into the incident.

The Presidency announced on Wednesday the establishment of the ‘Commission Inquiry into Ayawaso West Wuogon By-election Events’ to be chaired by former Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Francis Emile Short.

Celebrated law professor, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu and a former Inspector-General of Police, Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong will assist Mr Short, while private legal practitioner and former Dean of the GIMPA Law School, Dr Ernest Kofi Abotsi, will be Secretary to the Commission.

The terms of reference of the Commission, according to a statement from the Presidency are as follows.

(a) to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to, the events and associated violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Election on the 31st day of January 2019;

(b) to identify any person responsible for or who has been involved in the events, associated violence and injuries;

(c) to inquire into any matter which the Commission considers incidental or reasonably related to the causes of the events and the associated violence and injuries; and

(d) to submit within one month its report to the President giving reasons for its findings and recommendations, including appropriate sanctions, if any.

In a statement issued on Thursday, members of OccupyGhana said although they would have preferred the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution, “we believe that this Inquiry has the potential to find answers to the questions that we posed in our letter of yesterday, 6th February 2019, to the Minister of National Security, and probably quicker than any court proceedings would take.”

The non-partisan pressure group composed of astute Ghanaian professionals stated in the release that it fully expect that the Inquiry will address the following:

i. The legal bases upon which the armed force of the National Security Council was assembled, maintained and deployed if any;

ii. The circumstances under which the Ghana Police Service facilitated the acts of that force by supplying vehicles or other logistics for the operations of that day;

iii. The reason and necessity for maintaining the said force outside the legally and constitutionally recognised services established by law;

iv.  The procedure for recruiting persons into the said force; and

v.  The financial provision made for maintaining the force.

The group said it expects a full disclosure on these and all other matters.

“We anxiously await their report and will be watching to see the implementation of measures that we hope will reduce drastically, if not totally eliminate the scourge of electoral violence that has plagued this country for several years,” OccupyGhana said in the statement.