Aspects of the recommendations made by the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry which investigated the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence have been rejected by government, ABC News can report.
Government insists the report does not address critical Terms of Reference of the Emile Short Commission, forming the basis of their decision to rule out portions of it.
The Commission was among other things mandated “to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to the events and associated violence that occurred during the Aysawaso West Wuogon by-election.”
But Government in the White Paper observed, “The report failed to address the first and most critical of the Terms of Reference of the Commission. The failure to do so disables government from accepting in whole the findings of the commission.”
The Commission took testimonies of principal witnesses in the matter including the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George; the Commander of the National Security SWAT team, DSP Samuel Azugu; and the then NDC Parliamentary candidate, Delali Kwasi Brempong.
It interviewed over 20 other witnesses and persons of interest over a three-week period.
The hierarchy of the National Security in Ghana made appearances before the commission over the course of the hearing amid reports of abuse of power by National Security personnel.
Among the recommendations rejected, the government said Mohammed Sulemana, the SWAT officer seen on camera assaulting the Ningo-Prampram MP did not need to be prosecuted, contrary to the opinion of the commission.
The government in the Paper argues that the facts presented by the Commission supported “a valid defense of provocation for the said assault by Mohammed Sulemana.”
The government disagreed with the Commission’s finding that “there is a lack of clarity of responsibility and roles as well as lines of reporting.”
A number of critics cited the lack of coordination at the top of the security hierarchy as a major failing on the day of the by-election.
The level of training of National Security Personnel was also called into question.
But the government cited the Constitution and the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1996 which “spell out clearly the responsibilities and roles of the various offices within the national security establishment.”
Government, however, intimates that one of the persons of interest in the matter, National Security officer Ernest Akomea, alias Double, must be prosecuted for the unauthorised possession of firearms under subsection (1) of section 192 of the Criminal Offences Act and has been referred to the CID for further investigations.
The White Paper also revealed that the government was in favour of compensation for persons who were injured in the National Security Operation.