Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has commended Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, for the swift actions taken to ensure that the soldiers who brutalised some residents of Wa, on Thursday, July 1, are duly punished.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament, he said that the sanctions will not only bring some order to the military but also serve as a reminder to soldiers that acts of lawlessness will not be tolerated.
“I believe that some of the actions that are being taken are refreshing to hear. But you are reminded to let the military know their obligations under the 1992 constitution do not include chasing for phones, missing or not missing. That is not part of their responsibility,” he said.
His comment comes after it was announced that all military personnel in Wa barracks who were on duty on July 1, when residents were brutalised by some soldiers, with the exception of the Duty Officer, have been punished.
This was revealed after a four-member committee tasked to investigate the assault in the Upper West Regional capital submitted its preliminary findings.
Three of them have been demoted. They are; the Orderly, Guard Commander and the Sentry. The Orderly has been demoted from Staff Sergeant to Corporal whilst the Guard Commander and the Sentry have been demoted from Corporal to Private and Lance Corporal to Private respectively.
The trial of the Duty officer who is a Lieutenant will, however, be carried out later.
The Defense Minister also in Parliament said that eight other soldiers who brutalized the residents have been tried and awarded 30 days in detention each by a disciplinary board of the Ghana Armed Forces.
He said that the rest of the 86 soldiers involved will be transferred out of the region, whilst the trial of the Duty Officer will be held on 14th July.
Mr. Nitiwul also disclosed that the victims reported losing 13 mobile phones, a tricycle, and GH¢1,460.
Seven of the phones have been returned to the owners but the money has not been recovered.
Meanwhile, the Minority Leader urged the Defense Minister to ensure appropriate steps are taken to reduce military personnel in civilian areas adding that “there are too many armed people with arms all over the country, that is not the way to go.”
Mr. Iddrisu further stated that the minority will continue to monitor the other outcomes of the investigation and all others that are ongoing including the Ejura probe.
“The safety and security of our citizens cannot be compromised for anything else. This parliament has a duty as guardians of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Ghanaians, and we should not fail the people of Ghana when there are infractions to the law,” he said.
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