Wuogon by-poll: Criminally prosecute Sam George assailant – Short Commission report
The SWAT team member who slapped the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Mr Samuel Nartey George during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, should be prosecuted, the Justice Emile Short Commission of Inquiry which investigated the gun violence that marred the Thursday, 31 January 2019 by-poll, has recommended.
Although the Commission indicated that Mr George’s conduct during the poll was “inappropriate and ill-advised”, since it endangered his safety, it said the lawmaker’s assailant, Mr Mohammed Sulemana, should be made to face the full rigours of the law in court.
Mr Sulemana, who appeared before the Commission on Friday, 8 March 2019, apologised for his conduct.
He explained to the Commission that he hit Mr George because the legislator hurled tribalistic invective at him.
Mr Sulemana told the Commission that he did not know Mr George was an MP at the time of the incident.
After he was made aware by the Commission that Mr George is an MP, Mr Sulemana said Mr George’s behaviour during the by-election did not portray him as such.
However, Mr Sulemana said he regretted assaulting the MP.
"My Lord, I was guilty. I regret what I did. Whenever you err, what you need to say is 'I'm sorry and I will not do that again'", he said.
He continued: "When you offend somebody and ask for forgiveness and it comes from your heart then that person will forgive you".
But the Commission, in its final report submitted to the president, said it “recommends the criminal prosecution for the offence of assault, to wit: the slapping of Mr Samuel George by Mohammed Sulamana.”
In the Commission’s final report submitted to the president, it said: “The Commission notes that members of the SWAT team committed criminal assault on members of the crowd. In its assessment, the Commission notes that some of these incidents of assaults were committed while the victims were in flight and fleeing from the SWAT team who were given chase.
“A Member of Parliament, Samuel Nartey George, who was at the electoral grounds when the incident took place, was assaulted by the said Mohammed Sulemana. While confirming the incident of assault, Sulemana informed the Commission that he slapped the person he did not know was a member of parliament because the person insulted him and his ethnic group. He further explained that had he known he was a member of parliament, he would not have slapped him.
“The Commission notes that the entire encounter between the said Sulemana and the said Honorable Mr Sam George resulting in the slap administered by the said Sulemana, was regrettable.
“In this connection, the Commission notes the reaction of the said Sulemana Mohammed in responding to an alleged insult with a slap was unprofessional and must be condemned.
“The Commission further notes that the behaviour of Mr Sam George within the context of a highly charged environment was somewhat inappropriate and ill-advised and could even have endangered his own safety.”