Ghanaians have raised various arguments condemning the propriety of the commission of inquiry set up by Government to investigate the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence.
It is noteworthy that this commission, under the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana, has the same powers as a High Court. It has the legal capacity to subpoena witnesses and compel the production of evidence. In the Kwadwo Mpiani and Dr Wereko Brobbey Ghana@50 case, Justice Marful-Sau discharged the two who were arraigned before his court for criminal prosecution after government issued a White Paper.
Just as Mr Martin Amidu said about the ruling with regard to the Brazil World Cup case, Government wants to use the commission merely as commission which only makes adverse findings against the hoodlums and those who deployed them to the place and sponsoring them without a right to criminal prosecutions to pass without objection. We hold same position as the one which was forcefully articulated by Mr. Martin Amidu that; this commission was established to clear the hoodlums who acted on the instruction of the Chairman of the Security Council, and his Minister of State in charge of security. This will immunize the hoodlums from being prosecuted in court.
The President and his government should steer clear of any investigation and allow independent bodies to look into the matter and allow a level playing ground for the victims and the perpetrators to prove their cases beyond all reasonable doubts. Constitutionalism should be strictly followed in the case.
Our state institutions are being converted into dirty tricks departments of the President and the ruling party. Habitual misuse of our Security agencies by the President and his party for terrorising political opponents and illegal intervention to tamper with fair investigation of serious criminal cases has landed our once respected state institutions in an unfathomable mess. Use of our security agencies and hoodlums of the President and the ruling party as tools to settle scores with political opponents is unacceptable.
What happened at Ayawaso West Wuogon gives serious credence to the requirement that our state security agencies and investigative bodies be given independence from the executive which seriously hinders the agencies independent functioning.
Do we even need a commission of inquiry to investigate this matter? The answer is resounding No. The Minister of State in charge of security Mr Bryan Acheampong has already told Ghanaians that the hoodlums are National Security operatives and were deployed from his outfit. Some of the hoodlums are special bodyguards of functionaries of the NPP including a bodyguard of the National Organiser of the ruling NPP Sammy Awuku. Some of them were seen with the President in opposition.
There is no way that the minister of State in charge of security will deploy the operatives to a spot without notifying the Chairman of the Security Council (President Akufo Addo). It was the President who provided the Vehicles, uniforms, guns and ammunition, and all the fighting equipment to the operatives as head of the Security Council and commander in chief. These facts automatically indict the president and make him a subject of investigation. No one should be a judge in his own cause. Because the President himself, per the facts stated, is a subject of investigation, it is legally wrong for him to constitute a body to investigate a case that he is deeply involved in. The facts available including the videos, the sound bites are enough evidence for criminal prosecution in court. The President who provided the Vehicles, guns, axes and others weapons to the unit, cannot tell us he didn’t know they were going carry out that dastardly operation.
This commission is just a knee-jerk reaction to play to the gallery and respond to the emotions being expressed across the country. Government is simply and recklessly expending state resources in the wrong direction.
The effectiveness and integrity of this commission are also somewhat doubtful. Pronouncements and activities of the members in the past places them very close to the ruling party. We may be wrong but that is the perception out there. This is the reason why Ghanaians especially those who suffered directly from that dastardly act are requesting for an independent body to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.
It has become very difficult, if not impossible for even die-hard supporters of the NPP and President Akufo-Addo to defend the excessive security shortcomings in this administration. If the President and his government are truly committed to investigating the matter, then a truly independent investigation team be set up to carry out an independent and thorough investigation into the matter. For speedy investigation, a special and independent team which will include politically untainted minds including lawyers and investigators should be constituted to specifically investigate allegations levelled against the President, his Minister of State in charge of security, the IGP, the National security outfit and the hoodlums. Respected international bodies are ready to assist government in this investigation because of the level of atrocities those hoodlums unleashed on their victims. Government should not waste the taxpayers money on something it can easily get without wasting a pesewa.
The Minister of State in charge of security Mr Bryan Acheampong has indicated that the hoodlums were deployed from his outfit, we saw the hoodlums in police vehicles in the company of known senior police officers, we saw senior police officers pick guns of these hoodlums from the ground and handing them back to them, we saw the hoodlums pushing down our police officers and disrespecting orders from the senior police officers so, why using the other rocky path. Some respected senior citizens including sympathizers of the ruling party have started writing letters to the President expressing their disapproval of how the government is handling security issues in the country, some international agencies including the UNDP and the AU have written officially to government cautioning government over how it is handling security issues in the country. The image we cultivating for ourselves on the international stage is worrying.
Clean & Clear,
P.O Box 7077,
By: Andrews Krow