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Ayawaso White Paper was issued to shield some people in our security sector - James Agalga

Sat, 21 Sep 2019 Source: Prime News Ghana

The Ranking Member for the Committee of Defence and Interior in Parliament, James Agalga says the government issued the White Paper on the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence just to shield certain people in our security sector.

The government rejected some of the findings and recommendations of the Emile Short Commission, which investigated political violence in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

The findings and recommendations rejected in the government's White Paper were related to certain individuals and institutions.

One of such rejection was; "The Government does not accept the Commission’s finding that the appointment of the Commission was based on the allegation of reckless use of guns and weapons by masked SWAT team."

"The Government rejects the Commission’s finding “that the use of masked men in electoral security policing represents a deviation from standard practice in Ghana.”

This among others has made James Agalga believe that this White Paper was a deliberate attempt by the Akufo-Addo government to shield certain individuals in the country's security apparatus.

"The commission made a finding of fact that Sam George was assaulted with others and recommended for the prosecution of Sam George's assailant but the government said Sam George's assailant has a defence of provocation.

"The conclusion I can arrive at is that the White Paper was issued to shield some people in our security sector," he spoke on Joy FM's NewsFile on September 21, 2019.

Mr Agalga also accused the government of 'cherry-picking' from the commission's reports hence their rejection of some of their recommendation.

"What they did was to pick and choose from the report and even in some cases, findings of fact were taken out"

"If you read the report in totality there are no contradictions in the conclusion of the report," he added.

Here some recommendations and findings the government rejected

Gov’t does not accept that “There was wild shooting of live bullets as a result of a confrontation that occurred between a crowd that had massed up at the frontage of the residence of the NDC candidate, and the SWAT team.…the home of its candidate for the by-election had been besieged by state-sponsored “armed security men” of unknown origin and/or authority.”

Gov’t rejects findings that the shooting incident happened close to a polling station.

The Government rejects the finding that the SWAT team was deployed to the electoral grounds or for the purposes of electoral security.

The Government does not accept the Commission’s conclusion that the intelligence upon which the team from national security acted was “at best of unreliable quality.”

The Government does not accept the Commission’s finding that the appointment of the Commission was based on the allegation of reckless use of guns and weapons by masked SWAT team.

The Government rejects the finding that the warning shots were fired in reckless disregard for the safety of persons in the vicinity.

The Government rejects, in part, the Commission’s finding that the firing of shots was “calculated to cause grievous bodily harm and injury and not to control the crowd.”

The Government rejects the Commission’s finding that an operative possibly man-handled a police officer.

The Government rejects the Commission’s finding “that the use of masked men in electoral security policing represents a deviation from standard practice in Ghana.”

The Government does not accept the Commission’s finding that the “SWAT team has no instructions and procedures for the use of firearms and claims to rely on instructions of the Police Service”

The Government rejects the Commission’s findings on the general architecture of state security captured at paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 on pages 48 and 49 of the Report.

The Government rejects the Commission’s findings on command and control, captured at paragraph 3 on page 49 of the Report.

The Government rejects the word “militia” adopted by the Commission in its Report.

The Government rejects the finding that members of the SWAT team committed criminal assault against certain members of the crowd gathered in front of the residence of the parliamentary candidate of the NDC.

The Government does not accept, however, that there is lack of clarity of responsibilities and roles as well as lines of reporting.

The Government rejects the recommendation in paragraph 8.1.3 on page 56 of the Report which called for the Ministry of State appointed at the presidency to the Ministry of National Security should have a “clearly delineated role with responsibilities indexed to that of a substantive sector minister.”

The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 8.2.2 on page 57 of the Report that no masked or hooded men should be used for civilian policing especially in electoral policing or the execution of intelligence…”

The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendations in paragraphs 8.2.7 and 8.2.8 on page 58 of the Report that the SWAT team of NSCS should be disbanded and that specialized units of the police be used in special operations.

The Government does not accept the Commission’s recommendation that Mohammed Sulemana must be prosecuted for the offence of assault, to wit, the slapping of the Honourable Member of Parliament, Mr Samuel Nartey George.

The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 8.3.4 on pages 58 and 59 of the Report calling for the reprimand of Colonel Mike Opoku on the basis that the Commission failed to establish the factual basis for the said recommendation.

The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 8.3.6 on page 59 of the Report (calling for Bryan Acheampong to be reprimanded) on the basis that the Commission failed to establish the factual basis for the said recommendation.

The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendations in paragraphs 10.1 and 10.2 on page 60 of the Report on the structure of reporting, roles and responsibilities within the national security set up.

The Government rejects the Commission’s recommendation in paragraph 10.3 on page 60 of the Report and states that recruitment into the Ghana Police Service is based on merit.

Source: Prime News Ghana

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