Akufo-Addo protects Security Minister, Double, Azugu & Others

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President Akufo-Addo, appears unwilling to act on the recommendations of the Emile Short commission, which probed the Ayawaso electoral violence with his Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin, serving notice that, his boss will not be stampeded by civil society groups into taking any decision.

The report which has been leaked among other things, strongly urged the President to reprimand the Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of national security and also disband the SWAT team of the national security.

“The Commission recommends that Bryan Acheampong be reprimanded for his ultimate responsibility as Minister in authorising an operation of that character and on a day of an election in a built up area,” the report said.

But speaking to the media, Mr Arhin, said President Akufo-Addo, is still studying the report and will act within the time granted by the Constitution.

“The President has not issued a white paper on the recommendations of the Short commission which was submitted about a month ago. The President is still studying the report. As I said the there are two options the constitution give the president anytime a report of such nature is brought to him. Either he publishes the report and alongside a white paper or if he decides not to publish the report, he puts out a statement on why the report is not to be published and the constitutions gives him six months to do so.

The President will not be stampeded into making any decisions now, he has to satisfy himself first, and the decisions he wants to take and once,” he said that decisions is taking we will let Ghanaians know what that decisions is,” he said.

The report by the commission of enquiry, constituted to investigate the melee that happened during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, recommends that DSP Samuel Kojo Azugu, should re-assigned.

The commission, which was headed by Justice Emile Short, also said national security operative, Ernest Akomea, popularly known as ‘Double’, should be prosecuted.

The report demanded that, the commander of the SWAT team at the National Security Council Secretariat, DSP Azugu, should be removed “from command responsibility.”

The report said DSP Azugu failed to “appropriately command and control the SWAT team of which he had charge during the operation at the La Bawaleshie school polling station. It is recommended that he should be reassigned by the IGP.”

During the sitting of the commission, Double, who was accused of leading the team that assaulted the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, denied the charge and refuted allegations that he was part of a pro-government vigilante group called Invisible Forces.

He told Short’s Commission, “Yes, I went to Asutsuare for three weeks…We were trained in reading maps, how to speak on the GoTa, pound to pound combat and basic weapons handling”.

Justice Emile Short Commission recommended “the criminal prosecution” of the operative “for the unauthorized possession of firearms under section 192(1) of the Criminal Offences Act.”

Further, the Commission which sat for a month, recommended that the head of the SWAT Team, Colonel Mike Opoku, must be reprimanded “for being ultimately responsible for the outcome of the SWAT operation at the La Bawaleshie School Polling Station.”

“His liability is further reinforced by his failure to properly define the mission for which the SWAT team was sent and ensuring that the SWAT team complied with the defined mission.

“He failed to conduct an internal inquiry into identifying the culprits of the offence when revelations became rife that there were operational lapses resulting in violations of human rights.”

The Commission also recommended to the President to clarify the exact role of the Minister of State in charge of National Security at the Presidency. This the committee believes this will establish a clear chain of command between his role and that of the substantive minister.

The Minister of State appointed at the Presidency to the ministry of National Security should have clearly delineated role with responsibilities indexed to that of substantive sector minister. This should establish a clear chain of command and the circumstance under which he or she can act in the absence of substantive minister,”

It also recommended operatives should be re-assigned to their respective units after disbanding the SWAT team.

“The Commission recommends that the SWAT team of the National Security Council Secretariat should be disbanded and operatives be reassigned as appropriate,” the report recommended.

It added: “The Commission further recommends that support for special operations should be sought from the specialised units of the police directly as and when necessary.”

Also, the Commission recommends “intelligence sharing between relevant agencies where an operation would entail or necessitate inter-agency cooperation” such as by-elections among others.

The Commission that probed electoral violence at Ayawaso West-Wuogon in January this year has recommended to the President to clarify the exact role of the minister of state in charge of national security at the Presidency.

The committee believes this will establish a clear chain of command between his role and that of the substantive minister.

“The Minister of State appointed at the Presidency to the ministry of National Security should have clearly delineated role with responsibilities indexed to that of substantive sector minister. This should establish a clear chain of command and the circumstance under which he or she can act in the absence of substantive minister,” the confidential report, Starrfm.com.gh has reported.

It also recommended operatives should be re-assigned to their respective units after disbanding the SWAT team.

“The Commission recommends that the SWAT team of the National Security Council Secretariat should be disbanded and operatives be reassigned as appropriate,” the report recommended.

It added: “The Commission further recommends that support for special operations should be sought from the specialised units of the police directly as and when necessary.”

Also, the Commission recommends “intelligence sharing between relevant agencies where an operation would entail or necessitate inter-agency cooperation” such as by-elections among others.

It further added that the police must be well resourced “so that they can maintain active communication during the entirety of operations. Providing equipment to only the leaders of an operation who cannot be everywhere at once leaves the flank unprotected and this would not inspire confidence in any of them.”

The three-member Commission, was tasked to probe the events of the violence which occurred during the Ayawaso-West Wuogon by-election. It started its public hearings at the Christiansburg Castle, Osu, Accra on February 14.

Other members of the commission were; Mrs Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, legal luminary and jurist, and Mr Patrick K. Acheampong, former Inspector General of Police (IGP). Mr Ernest Kofi Abotsi, former Dean of the Faculty of Law, GIMPA and a private legal practitioner, served as Secretary to the Commission.

The Emile Short Commission of Inquiry, further recommended the dissolution of the SWAT team at the National Security Council Secretariat, Starrfm.com.gh can confirm.

The confidential report recommended operatives should be re-assigned to their respective units after disbanding the SWAT team.

The Commission recommends that the SWAT team of the National Security Council Secretariat should be disbanded and operatives be reassigned as appropriate,” the report recommended.

It added: “The Commission further recommends that support for special operations should be sought from the specialised units of the police directly as and when necessary.”

Also, the Commission recommends “intelligence sharing between relevant agencies where an operation would entail or necessitate inter-agency cooperation” such as by-elections among others.

It further added that the police must be well resourced “so that they can maintain active communication during the entirety of operations. Providing equipment to only the leaders of an operation who cannot be everywhere at once leaves the flank unprotected and this would not inspire confidence in any of them.”

The terms of reference of the Commission according to the statement that announced its formation were; 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; to identify any person responsible for or who has been involved in the events, associated violence and injuries; 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 to submit within one month its report to the President giving reasons for its findings and recommendations, including appropriate sanctions, if any.

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