Slapped NDC MP's words require in-camera hearing - Witness tells Commission
Commission of Inquiry has agreed to hear in-camera, invectives used by National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP, Sam George, attracting slaps from a security operative during an ill-fated bye-election in Ayawaso West-Wuogon in Greater Accra region.
A Commander of a SWAT unit, DSP Samuel Azugu who called for a private hearing explained, the words used are too unpalatable for public hearing.
Despite the push by the three-member Commission to spill the beans at the televised hearing, DSP Azugu had his way.
This was after he wrote on paper, words he claims were said by the Ningo-Prampram MP during the Ayawaso West-Wuogon bye-election on January 31.
What was expected to be a routine by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon degenerated into another worrying episode of political violence.
National Security has explained it sent a detachment of its operatives to the house of the NDC candidate, Delali Kwasi Brempong over suspicions, it held a catchment of ammunition.
A suspicion which Delali Kwasi Brempong has roundly denied.
The police say shots were fired from the parliamentary candidate’s house but also admitted firing warning shorts which they say, did not hurt anybody.
At least 15 persons were injured, some from gunshot wounds. Sam George in a video that would later go viral, is seen gesticulating violently before a SWAT vehicle full of operatives.
Shortly after, an operative jumps out of the car and slaps the politician at least twice. Others join in assaulting the Ningo-Prapram MP.
Emile Short commission
Explaining this episode during the third day of hearing at the Commission of Inquiry set up to look into the incident, DSP Azugu begged for a private hearing.
He said although the NDC MP’s words do not border on national security, “with all due respect”, the words can affect national cohesion.
“If I say it, the MP may be attacked by somebody…let me give it to you in-camera”, the SWAT commander said.
“I don’t want to be a carrier of a problem,” he said.
Emile Short commission
Chairperson of the Commission, Justice Emile Short refrained from urging the witness to speak after Azugu wrote what he said were words uttered by the MP.
Azugu confirmed, the operative who slapped the legislator is under investigations by National Security.
The National Security Minister on day one of the hearings told the Commission the operative had been identified but not arrested.
He said it would be interesting to know why he had not been arrested.
Government which has been roundly condemned by civil society groups, sees the Commission as an important step in addressing the canker of political violence ahead of the 2020 elections.