Ayawaso by-election: We acted unprofessionally – SWAT Commander
The Commander of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team deployed to the Ayawaso-West-Wuogon constituency, DSP Samuel Kodwo Azugu, has confirmed that his men failed to act professionally during the by-election held on Thursday, 31 August, 2019.
Appearing before the Emile Short chaired Commission probing the violence that characterized the by-election, which was won by NPP’s Lydia Seyram Alhassan, DSP Azugu stated that his men treated Ghanaians and voters unprofessionally and failed to act according to the training that had been given them.
He added that his men fired only six warning shots and did not injure anybody during the by-election.
Six people were shot at the Baweleshie polling centre of the constituency, compelling the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to withdraw from the exercise citing safety concerns.
Voters were electing a new Member of Parliament (MP) for the area in the by-election necessitated by the demise of the incumbent Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko last year, representing the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Some masked security personnel who arrived at the premises were in SWAT inscribed vehicles and in some cases were being driven by people in Police uniforms.
DSP Azugu also stated that his men wore masks to protect their identity because most of the men are used in various information gathering operations and could easily be identified by the public if they fail to disguise themselves.
He added that the men did not wear the mask to intimidate or scare people on that day.
Today is the third since the commission began its public hearing and it has requested members of the public wishing to submit information, statements, or other relevant materials to do so through their secretariat.
It has former Dean of the Faculty of Law of GIMPA and private legal practitioner, Mr. Ernest Kofi Abotsi as its Secretary. Henrietta Mensah Bonsu and Patrick K. Acheampong were also appointed as members of the Commission.
The commission has been given one month to complete its work.