Commission of Inquiry not best way to deal with Ayawaso violence – Mahama
Former President John Mahama has questioned the need for a Commission of Inquiry by the government to probe the Ayawaso West Wuogon by election violence.
Questioning the validity of evidence gathered by other Commissions in the past, Mr. Mahama said the state should have treated the events of Ayawaso West Wuogon as a criminal matter and handed over to the police for investigations.
Speaking at a meeting with Ghana’s diplomatic partners at Peduase, the NDC flagbearer aspirant said the Emile Short Commission would end nowhere. “It is my belief that the President [Nana Akufo-Addo] would have known what security arrangements were being made [during the by-election]. These are all issues that have come up. We believe that this is a straight criminal case and the people involved, many of them have been identified and the Police should have invited them, taken their statements and started their investigation. Instead, they have decided to set up a Commission of Inquiry.”
“We all know what happens when Commissions of Inquiries are set up. The main usefulness of a Commission of Inquiry is to bring out the facts and put in place measures to ensure that such a thing does not happen again but it is not the most convenient way for sanctioning criminal conduct.”
NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia and Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George were in attendance.
Who are the members of the commission?
The Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia with the permission of President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday set up a Commission of Inquiry to look into the election violence that saw uniformed masked men supposedly national security personnel unleash violence on some citizens.
The Chairman of the Commission is Justice Emile Short. It also 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.
‘Commission is a smoke screen’– Asiedu Nketia
However, some individuals including the General Secretary of the opposition NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia have expressed concerns over the move.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia had earlier indicated that the Commission is only a ploy to protect perpetrators of the violence.
According to him, the whole idea of the Commission is flawed at birth because the president did not follow the right procedure in setting up such commissions.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, the NDC scribe said the constitution states clearly that, a constitutional instrument is to be laid before Parliament before a commission is established saying as far as he is concern nothing of that sort has been done.
Asiedu Nketia argued that such an important committee could not be established by just issuing a statement.
“I am surprised and even confused because there is a procedure for the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry, which procedure has not been followed at all. This Commission of Inquiry has been flawed at birth, so I want to believe it is a smoked screen move which the president is using to protect its own appointees,” he told Umaru Sanda on Eyewitness News on Wednesday.
Mr. Akamba had expressed his reservations over the credibility of the Commission, saying it lacked credibility.