The Minority in Parliament has tabled a request for the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament to proceed to Wa in the Upper West Region on a fact-finding mission, following the mayhem unleashed on some residents by the military.
The request follows Thursday’s case of military brutality against civilian, allegedly over a missing mobile phone.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu condemned the act and asked the House to act swiftly.
“We will not accept a state of lawlessness led by men in uniform. I am urging you [the Speaker of Parliament] to request your committee on Defence and Interior to act expeditiously, [even] if it means visiting Wa. I am asking the Committee to take up this matter because we risk cracking the civil-military relations that remain fundamental for our country’s peace and security.”
In response to the request, the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu, who chaired the proceedings, directed the committee to probe the matter and report to the House within four weeks.
Before the directive, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul condemned the act by the military and outlined steps to deal with the matter.
On Thursday, July 1, 2021, a viral video on social media showed armed military officers brutaliszing some residents of Wa, the Upper West Regional capital, allegedly over a missing mobile phone.
The incident happened a week after soldiers opened fire on protesters at Ejura in the Ashanti Region, leading to the death of two people and injuries to four others.
Some eyewitnesses told journalists the soldiers claimed they were searching for their stolen mobile phone.
They recounted how the soldiers, who could not be immediately identified, stopped tricycles and brutalized residents, particularly young men.
The video showed them making people lie on the floor and others enter and nearby gutter as they slapped them and beat them with sticks repeatedly.
The soldiers even assault the Regional NADMO Coordinator and the Public Relations Officer of the Regional Coordinating Council, who witnessed the incident while driving past the area and decided to film it.
A similar incident occurred in 2016 in the Northern Region, where a 16-year-old errand boy for some soldiers at the military quarters at Shishegu was beaten to a pulp by two soldiers.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Armed Force (GAF), has already promised to deal with its personnel seen in the viral video.
According to GAF, it has already initiated investigations into the “unprofessional conduct” of the officers.
GAF made this known in a press statement issued today, Friday, July 2, 2021.
The statement said the “unprofessional conduct took place at a time the Commanding Officer of the soldiers and the Chairman of the Regional Security Council, were out of town for an official engagement”.
“Internal disciplinary measures have been instituted to deal with all those who will be found culpable in this unprofessional conduct by the soldiers.”