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General News of Friday, 12 April 2019

Source: classfmonline.com

Storming Brempong’s home without court warrant wrong – Short Commission report

It was inappropriate for the SWAT team of the Office of National Security to deploy armed and masked operatives in search of a cache of arms at a warehouse belonging to the main opposition National Democratic Congress’ parliamentary candidate for the Thursday, 31 January 2019 Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, Mr Delali Kwasi Brempong, without a search warrant duly issued by the court, the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry set up by President Nana Akufo-Addo which probed the gun violence that marred the by-poll, has said in its report.

The masked men stormed La-Bawaleshie during the by-election and fired gunshots into a crowd of supporters of the NDC injuring 16 of them.

They had stormed the area upon intelligence that there was a cache of arms at a warehouse in the opposition candidate’s house.

According to the 62-page report, excerpts of which ClassFMonline.com is privy to, the Commission observed that “at the time the intelligence was received and the operation planned, there was sufficient time to secure a search warrant whose issuance would have ensured that the operation was conducted in accordance with law”.

It continued: “In a democratic regime such as Ghana’s, the requirement of Chapter 5 of the Constitution on fundamental human rights require that the subjection of the privacy of a person’s home to intrusive searches be carried out under the superintendence of law and judicial oversight, hence the need for a court order in this case”.

The Commission also called for the dissolution of the SWAT team at the office of National Security.

“The Commission recommends that the SWAT team of the National Security Council Secretariat should be disbanded and operatives be reassigned as appropriate,” the report said.

It added: “The Commission further recommends that support for special operations should be sought from the specialised units of the police directly as and when necessary.”