Gov't rejected at least 58.9% of Short Commission report

Gov't rejected at least 58.9% of Short Commission report
Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com
Date: 20-09-2019 Time: 02:09:22:pm
Emile Short Commission: Law professor, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu; retired Supreme Court judge, Francis Emile Short and retired IGP, Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong.

Government rejected at least 58.9% of the findings and recommendations of the Emile Short Commission which investigated political violence in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, JoyNews estimates.

Detailed scrutiny of government’s response contained in its White Paper, identifies at least 39 issues of agreement or disagreement.

The White Paper prepared by the Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo, accepted or partly accepted 16 facts, findings or recommendations of the Commission.

It rejected or did not accept at least 23 others. 

Accepts/partly accepts

1. Government accepts in part some of the facts on the event that day such as the dress of the NSC operatives, their masks and weapons.

2. Government accepts that the Commission finds that the SWAT team was deployed to follow up on intelligence.

3. Government accepts the Commission’s finding that the shots that were fired on the day were warning shots.

4. Government accepts the findings of the Commission on the reality of the existence of “militia” groups.

5. Government accepts the findings of the Commission that these groups retain minimum military or quasi-military characteristics.

6. Government accepts, in part, the finding of the Commission under paragraph 6 on pages 54 and 55 of the Report.

7. Government accepts, in part, the structural recommendations of the Commission calling on the President to review and restructure the Ministry of National Security to properly define roles and responsibilities.

8. Government accepts the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 8.2.1 on pages 56 and 57 of the Report that “as a matter of urgency, the police and national security establishment develops protocols for the assessment and rating of intelligence received”

9. The Government accepts, in part, the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 8.2.3 on page 57 of the Report that SWAT teams and police officers must have rigorous training in crowd control, arrests and perimeter security.

10. The Government accepts the Commission’s recommendations in paragraphs 8.2.4, 8.2.5 and 8.2.6 on page 57 of the Report calling for standard rules and procedures for the issuance of weapons to be enforced, that operatives should be trained to internalize human rights rules and also the recommendation that the rules of searches and seizures in respect of a citizen’s privacy should be strictly enforced.


11. The Government accepts, in part, the recommendations of the Commission in respect of individual liabilities as captured at paragraph 8.3 on page 58 of the Report.

12. The Government, in principle, accepts the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 9.1 on page 59 of the Report on the basis that the injured persons were unfortunately caught up in a legitimate National Security operation.

13. The Government, in principle, accepts the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 9.2 on pages 59 and 60 of the Report on the basis that those properties were damaged during a legitimate National Security operation.

14. The Government accepts the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 10.4 on page 60 of the Report insofar as it relates to vigilantism and hooliganism.

15. The Government accepts the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 10.5 on pages 60 and 61 of the Report describing the circulation of certain posters titled ‘Wanted’ as unauthorized.

16. The Government accepts the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 10.6 on page 61 of the Report which urges doctors and dentists of their legal obligation to endorse police forms issued in respect of victims.

Does not accept or reject

1. Government does not accept that “There was wild shooting of live bullets as a result of a confrontation that occurred between a crowd that had massed up at the frontage of the residence of the NDC candidate, and the SWAT team.…the home of its candidate for the by-election had been besieged by state-sponsored “armed security men” of unknown origin and/or authority.”

2. Government rejects findings that the shooting incident happened close to a polling station.

3. Government rejects the finding that the SWAT team was deployed to the electoral grounds or for the purposes of electoral security.

4. Government does not accept the Commission’s conclusion that the intelligence upon which the team from national security acted was “at best of unreliable quality.”

5. Government does not accept the Commission’s finding that the appointment of the Commission was based on the allegation of reckless use of guns and weapons by masked SWAT team.

6. The Government rejects the finding that the warning shots were fired in reckless disregard for the safety of persons in the vicinity.

7. The Government rejects, in part, the Commission’s finding that the firing of shots was “calculated to cause grievous bodily harm and injury and not to control the crowd.”

8. The Government rejects the Commission’s finding that an operative possibly man-handled a police officer.

9. The Government rejects the Commission’s finding “that the use of masked men in electoral security policing represents a deviation from standard practice in Ghana.”

10. The Government does not accept the Commission’s finding that the “SWAT team has no instructions and procedures for the use of firearms and claims to rely on instructions of the Police Service”

11. The Government rejects the Commission’s findings on the general architecture of state security captured at paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 on pages 48 and 49 of the Report.

12. The Government rejects the Commission’s findings on command and control, captured at paragraph 3 on page 49 of the Report.

13. The Government rejects the word “militia” adopted by the Commission in its Report.

14. The Government rejects the finding that members of the SWAT team committed criminal assault against certain members of the crowd gathered in front of the residence of the parliamentary candidate of the NDC.

15. The Government does not accept, however, that there is lack of clarity of responsibilities and roles as well as lines of reporting.

16. The Government rejects the recommendation in paragraph 8.1.3 on page 56 of the Report which called for the Ministry of State appointed at the presidency to the Ministry of National Security should have a “clearly delineated role with responsibilities indexed to that of a substantive sector minister.”

17. The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 8.2.2 on page 57 of the Report that no masked or hooded men should be used for civilian policing especially in electoral policing or the execution of intelligence…”

18. The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendations in paragraphs 8.2.7 and 8.2.8 on page 58 of the Report that the SWAT team of NSCS should be disbanded and that specialized units of the police be used in special operations.

19. The Government does not accept the Commission’s recommendation that Mohammed Sulemana must be prosecuted for the offence of assault, to wit, the slapping of the Honourable Member of Parliament, Mr Samuel Nartey George.

20. The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 8.3.4 on pages 58 and 59 of the Report calling for the reprimand of Colonel Mike Opoku on the basis that the Commission failed to establish the factual basis for the said recommendation.

21. The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 8.3.6 on page 59 of the Report (calling for Bryan Acheampong to be reprimanded) on the basis that the Commission failed to establish the factual basis for the said recommendation.

22. The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendations in paragraphs 10.1 and 10.2 on page 60 of the Report on the structure of reporting, roles and responsibilities within the national security set up.

23. The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 10.3 on page 60 of the Report and states that recruitment into the Ghana Police Service is based on merit.