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General News of Sunday, 10 February 2019


NDC doesn’t trust Emile Short’s Commission of Enquiry – Sammy Gyamfi

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has served notice it will not appear before the Commission of Enquiry tasked to investigate the violence at the recently held by-elections at the Ayawaso West Wuogon in the Greater Accra Region.

Speaking to Mugabe Maase on Inside Politics on Radio XYZ, the National Communication Officer for the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi noted that the party does not trust the chairman of the Commission, Justice Emile Short and the other 3 members constituting it.

He said apart from Mr Short, Prof. Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, a law professor and member of the United Nations Independent Panel On Peace Operations; and Mr Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, a former Inspector General of Police are all sympathisers of the ruling NPP, stressing that their work will shield the perpetrators of callous act during the by-elections.

The NDC spokesman also alleged the secretary of the Commission, Prof Kofi Abotsi, a former Dean of the GIMPA Law School is also a loyalist of the government hence his work will help protect the government’s image.

“We are not impugning their academic qualifications…They are people who command respect, but their biases are the problem now,” Sammy Gyamfi said.

He added: “What happened is a criminal matter. The perpetrators must be arrested and dragged to court and possibly be jailed if found guilty. That is what we are seeking and not a Commission of Enquiry.”

State-sponsored violence

The Akufo-Addo government is under fire following the bloody Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections and the dead silence of Ministers who are in charge of the country’s security.

It will be recalled that during the elections on Thursday January 31,2019, NDC MP for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, was assaulted by alleged heavily armed thugs who were causing mayhem at the La-Baweleshie Presby Basic 1 JHS.

A similar situation occured at the residence of Mr Delali Kwesi Brempong, the NDC candidate for Ayawaso West Wuogon, where at least 6 NDC members were shot by masked men believed to be members of NPP vigilante group, the Invincible Forces.

The NDC eventually announced it had withdrawn from the elections which was later won by the late MP’s girlfriend, Lydia Seyram Alhassan.

Despite Electoral Commission’s and the NPP Communications Directorate insistence that the incident happened outside the polling station and that, the polls were very peaceful, civil society organisations have condemned the act and asked security agencies to look for the thugs and bring them to book.

This is after reports confirmed that the perpetrators of the melee were ‘NPP hooligans’ who were clad in Police uniform and drove freely in pick-up trucks with the Ghana Police Service insiginia.

Calls have intensified for the dismissal of Minister of State in charge of National Security at the Presidency, Bryan Achempong, after he admitted knowing the armed hooligans.

Analysts of the video footage of the brutalities and slides captured from it, have identified some of the men, believed to be members of the NPP vigilante group, Invisible Forces.

Fresh videos in which one of those involved is heard screaming this is the beginning of 2020 is even raising more fears among a section of the public who are piling pressure on government to sack the National Security Minister and ensure thorough investigations.

Occupy Ghana

Pressure group, Occupy Ghana has petitioned the Minister for National Security, Kan Dapaa, to reveal the identitities of heavily armed thugs who caused mayhem during the by-elections held in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency last Thursday.

But in a statement addressed to Mr kan DApaah and copied to President Akufo-Addo, his vice Dr Bawumiah, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior, Finance among others, Occupy Ghana said they had seen that some of the armed men were “being driven in vehicles bearing the name and insignia of the Ghana Police Service and were, in some instances, chauffeured or accompanied by persons who appeared to be regular police personnel.”

The group has stated the operations of the masked men were unconsntitutional and have among other things demanded that the sector Minister provides Ghanaians with information about “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.”

Occupy Ghana also threatened that if the Minister fails to give those accounts, they will go to court and “seek reliefs including (but not limited to): (a) providing the information requested above, (b) declaring the said force illegal, (c) ordering that the force be disbanded, (d) ordering you to account for all of sums of money expended on maintaining this force, (e) and further ordering that all such sums be refunded to the State, the expenditure on the said force being contrary to law.”

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