Pressure group OccupyGhana® has welcomed government’s decision to set up a commission of inquiry into last Thursday, 31st January’s violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency by-election in Accra.
The group per a statement it issued Thursday, welcomed the move and wished it well, but penned off the statement with the terse admonition: “Ghanaians are watching.”
Government Wednesday announced a three-man commission to probe the violence, with the former chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Justice Emile Short as chairperson, while law lecturer Henrietta Mensah Bonsu and former Inspector General of Police, Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong are members. Private legal practitioner, Ernest Kofi Abotsi is secretary to the commission.
OccupyGhana®reiterated its earlier demand for answers to a number of questions, and said it anxiously awaits the report and recommendations of the commission whose implementation should hopefully reduce drastically, the scourge of electoral violence that has plagued Ghana for several years, if not totally eliminate it.
The group said it would have preferred the establishment of a commission of inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution, however, it believes that this inquiry has the potential to find answers to several questions it wants answers for and probably quicker than any court proceedings.
Among the questions OccupyGhana® demands answers to are;
The legal bases upon which the armed force of the National Security Council was assembled, maintained and deployed, if any;
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;
The reason and necessity for maintaining the said force outside the legally and constitutionally recognised services established by law;
The procedure for recruiting persons into the said force; and
The financial provision made for maintaining the force.
“It is in expectation of a full disclosure on these and all other matters that we endorse the Inquiry and its members. We anxiously await their report and will be watching to see the implementation of measures that we hope will reduce drastically, if not totally eliminate the scourge of electoral violence that has plagued this country for several years.
“We wish the Inquiry well. Ghanaians are watching.”
The commission of inquiry’s terms of reference include:
to make a full, faithful and impartial enquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to, the events and associated violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election;
to identify any person responsible for or who has been involved in the events, the associated violence and injuries;
to enquire into any matter which it considers incidental or reasonably related to the causes of the events and the associated violence and injuries;
to submit within one month its report to the President, giving reasons for its findings and recommendations, including appropriate sanctions, if any.