Emile Short Commission a ‘grand concert’ – Franklin Cudjoe
IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe, does not expect any significant impact from the work of the Emile Short Commission.
He described the commission’s probe of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence as a concert in remarks on Citi FM/Citi TV‘s news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday.
“What we saw, what we’ve heard so far is one grand concert and there is a lot more because, at the end of the day, we are just going to be discussing this matter,” he said
Central to his concerns is the fact that the findings of the commission will not result in any prosecution.
“Where acts of crime may have been committed, there must be some responsibility. If the commission says persons who will come and give these pieces of evidence, they will be absorbed of any form of punishment, then I ask myself, to what end?”
Already, proceedings in the commission have highlighted lapses in security protocol and the lack of coordination between security agencies.
DSP George Lysander Asare, the East Legon District Police Commander, for example, noted that the scene of the confusion wasn’t properly processed as a crime scene and evidence mishandled.
“It is just an attestation to the fact that we play too much with serious matters of policy and in this instance, the security architecture we do have. Maybe it is a semblance of grand concerts which [we] keep playing,” Mr. Cudjoe remarked.
“For me, what I see confirms the fact that we have never had coherence in policy making in most of our national lives and security is one of them.”
He also noted that the issue of political vigilantism was not adequately addressed.
According to him, “the bigger issue we are dealing with is political vigilantism” and that at the moment, “we are running away from our own shadows.”
Why there will be no jail time
Article 280(2) of the 1992 Constitution says: “Where a commission of inquiry makes an adverse finding against any person, the report of the commission of inquiry shall, for the purposes of this Constitution, be deemed to be the judgment of the High Court; and accordingly, an appeal shall lie as of right from the finding of the commission to the Court of Appeal.”
Article 19(7) also says: “No person who shows that he has been tried by a competent court for a criminal offense and either convicted or acquitted, shall again be tried for that offence or for any other criminal offence of which he could have been convicted at the trial for the offense, except on the order of a superior court in court in the course of appeal or review proceedings relating to the conviction or acquittal.”
In addition, Article 279 notes that a Commission of Inquiry can compel a witness to provide all relevant information that may even incriminate him.
But this information cannot be used to incriminate someone cooperating with the commission.
This is because Article 19(10) also provides that “No person who is tried for a criminal offence shall be compelled to give evidence at the trial.”