SWAT operative who slapped Sam George to face Parliament

SWAT operative who slapped Sam George to face Parliament
Source: Ghana |Myjoyonline.com | Akyena Brantuo | benjamin.brantuo@myjoyonline.com
Date: 20-09-2019 Time: 08:09:15:pm

The Minority in Parliament has expressed shock at government’s decision not to prosecute the SWAT operative who assaulted Sam George, during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

According to the Minority Spokesperson on Defence and Interior, James Agalga, Parliament will act to correct the wrong of the Executive by ensuring that Mohammed Sulemana faces the Privileges Committee.

“Now that government has taken this posture by dismissing the findings of the Emile Short Commission, those of us with the legislative arm will advise ourselves accordingly,” he told JoyNews’ Evans Mensah, Friday.  

Government has rejected a recommendation by the Justice Emile Short Commission of Inquiry to prosecute a SWAT operative who assaulted the Ningo Prampram legislator.

Mr Sulemana was one of two persons seen in the viral video as the NDC MP cowed under the heavy frame of the operative who has not been arrested or charged although he has been identified.

The Short Commission which investigated the violence has recommended that the SWAT operative who slapped the legislator must be prosecuted.

Mohammed Sulemana is to face criminal prosecution “for the offence of assault, to wit, slapping Mr Samuel George.”

However, a government White Paper following the Commission’s report said, it does not accept that recommendation.

“That is mindboggling,” Mr Agalga described government’s decision echoing the Minority’s disappointment.

The former Deputy Interior Minister said government’s basis of not prosecuting the suspect, arguing that Mr George brought the assault unto himself through his “provocation” is legally untenable.

According to him, such a defence is only available in cases of murder but not assault.

“Extreme provocation” even in a murder trial “is only a partial defence,” he argued. 

“So how the Attorney General can canvass such a defence in the case of Mohammed Sulemana, is mind-boggling,” Mr Agalga charged.

Meanwhile, government has defended its decision not to prosecute the SWAT operative.

A Deputy Chief of Staff, John Abu Jinapor, said rejecting aspects of a committee’s report is not peculiar to this government.

Commissions of inquiries are not sacrosanct and therefore their reports can be accepted in part he said.  

Justifying his claims, he said it is the reason the constitution does not compel a president to accept all the findings of such Commissions.

According to him, reports of such inquiries bother not only on the legal implications of actions under investigation but also such reports also deal with matters of policy.

In considering such findings government makes its decisions considering the implications of the recommendations to policy and existing law, Mr Jinapor, who is also a lawyer, said. 

He cautioned against a sensational discussion of minor aspects of the report urging Ghanaians to rather focus on the weightier issues the committee raised which government has adopted.