• Government has constituted a number of security-related probes since coming into office
• One of the most famous being the Ayawaso West Wuogon Commission
• The most recent is the Ejura disturbances committee currently sitting in Kumasi
The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government has constituted a number of security related probes into violence in different parts of the country.
The measure is more often directed at unearthing tensions that have led to violent incidents involving security agencies and civilians.
The most recent incident being the ministerial committee that is currently sitting in Kumasi to look into the Ejura disturbances that resulted in the death of two protesters in early July.
GhanaWeb looks at three security-related probes ordered by the government:
June 2018: Asawase 7 shooting
A shooting incident at Manso-Nkwanta within the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region on July 17, 2018 resulted in the death of seven (7) persons, leading government to establish a five (5) Member fact-finding committee to look into the matter.
The tag “Asawase 7” emanated from the fact that five out of the seven persons who died in the police raid were from Asawase Zongo – a hotbed of the main opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC.
The membership of the fact-finding committee was as follows:
a) Justice Obeng Diawuo – Justice of the High Court
b) Rt. Rev. Prof. Osei-Safo Kantanka – Pastor Methodist Bishop
c) Sheik Ahmed Siedu – Executive Secretary, Office of the Ashanti
Regional Chief Imam
d) Mr. David Adu-Osei – Ashanti Regional BNI Commander
e) Mrs. Emelia Ayebenu Botchway – Ag. Ashanti Regional Coordinating Director
In September 2018, the commite presented its report to the vice president following which in a release signed by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the seven victims originally described by the police as ‘hardened criminals’ were found to be innocent.
The report showed that “there were no facts before the investigation committee to establish that the deceased persons were armed robbers who engaged in exchange of fire with the Police.”
The report added that government had decided to interdict 21 police personnel who were involved in the incident and subject them to formal police criminal investigations.
Government has also compensated the respective families based on agreed upon recommendations.
February 2019: Ayawaso West Wuogon Commission of Inquiry
In February 2019, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia swore-in members of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Commission of Inquiry, a body tasked to look into the circumstances that led to violence at the by-elections in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in the Greater Accra Region.
The four-member Commission was headed by Justice Emile Short, a former head of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Prof. Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, a law professor and member of the United Nations Independent Panel On Peace Operations; Prof Kofi Abotsi, a former Dean of the GIMPA Law School and Mr Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, a former Inspector General of Police.
Their mandate among others was:
(a) to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to, the events and associated violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Election on the 31st day of January 2019;
(b) to identify any person responsible for or who has been involved in the events, associated violence and injuries;
(c) to inquire into any matter which the Commission considers incidental or reasonably related to the causes of the events and the associated violence and injuries; and
(d) to submit within one month its report to the President giving reasons for its findings and recommendations, including appropriate sanctions, if any.”
They submitted their report to the president in September 2019 folowing which government issued a White Paper rejecting certain portions of their recomendations.
The call for government to implement the findings of the Commission has routinely come up with the most recent being a call by the youth wing of the main opposition National Democratic Congress that the findings be implemented as a step towards curbing excesses by members of the state security architecture.
July 2021: Ejura disturbances Committee of Enquiry
It started as a presidential order to his Interior Minister issued on June 30 in a statement from Jubilee House.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in breaking his silence on deadly clashes in Ejura in the Ashanti Region issued a statement that read in part:
“The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has instructed the Minister for Interior, Hon. Ambrose Dery, MP, to conduct forthwith, a public inquiry into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate occurrences of Tuesday, June 29, 2021. The Interior Minister is to provide a detailed report from the Inquiry with recommendations for appropriate action within 10 days, ie. by July 9, 2021 to President Akufo-Addo.”
It continued: “The President is deeply saddened by the deaths of Ibrahim Mohammed, Abdul Nasi Yussif and Murtala Mohammed. He extends sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and wishes the injured a speedy recovery.”
Subsequently Minister Ambrose Dery constituted the three-member committee comprising of; Justice George Kingsley Koomson (Justice of the Court of Appeal), Dr Vladimir Antwi Danso, a Security Expert and Juliet Antwi Amoah, Executive Director, Penplusbyte.
Mrs. Marie Louise Simmons who is a Principal State Attorney will be the Secretary for the committee.
The committee whose mandate is essentiallt to probe deadly disturbances at Ejura on June 29, 2021, started sitting at the Assembly Hall of Prempeh College on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.