The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) is optimistic investigations being carried out on attacks against civilians by the military and police will be swift, unbiased and ensure the perpetrators of such heinous acts are brought to book.
According to the Association, it has taken notice of the various statements issued by the relevant security agencies and the investigations that are in progress to resolve issues of brutality.
The association condemned the assault adding that under no circumstance should operatives of the security agencies, “manhandle and assault people or use physical force which sometimes results in the death of the victims.”
“Security agencies must be professional in the discharge of their duties. Their actions culminated in the loss of lives and also caused injuries to others and we hereby condemn unreservedly these unfortunate events,” the Association added.
Recently, two Committees of inquiry have been established to probe the killings of youth protestors in Ejura in the Ashanti Region and the military brutality against residents of Wa in the Upper West Region over an alleged stolen phone that occurred earlier this month.
The youth of Ejura on Tuesday, June 29, hit the streets to protest the murder of social activist, Ibrahim Mohammed to demand justice. But following the intervention of the police and military, this protest turned turbulent resulting in the death of two persons with four others sustaining injuries.
A three-member committee comprising of George Kingsley Koomson, Justice of the Court of Appeal as Chairman, Security Expert, Dr Vladimir Antwi Danso and Juliet Amoah, Executive Director of Penplusbyte, a civil society organisation, has been tasked by the Interior Ministry to probe the matter following a directive by the President.
The Committee has since Tuesday, questioned several witnesses including JoyNews journalist Erastus Asare Donkor, MCE of Ejura, Mohammed Salisu Bamba, the Ghana Armed Forces and Ghana Police Service among others.
Also, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwil before the floor of Parliament on Thursday, disclosed that all military personnel in Wa barracks who were on duty on July 1, when residents were brutalised by some soldiers except for the Duty Officer, have been punished.
The three demoted are; the Orderly, Guard Commander and the Sentry. The Orderly has been demoted from Staff Sergeant to Corporal whilst the Guard Commander and the Sentry have been demoted from Corporal to Private and Lance Corporal to Private respectively.
This was revealed after a four-member committee tasked to investigate the assault in the Upper West Regional capital submitted its preliminary findings.
The assault on Citi FM journalist, Caleb Kudah by national security operatives and the invasive manner with which his colleague, Zoey Abu-Baidoo, was picked up at the Adabraka-based TV and Radio station are also under investigation by the National Security Council.
Lt. Col. Frank Agyeman, who was found to be an active participant in the assault against the journalist, who was accused of unlawfully filming the premises of the national security, had his secondment revoked.
Meanwhile, the Committee of Inquiry appointed to conduct a public probe into circumstances that led to the death of two persons in Ejura on June 29, has requested an extension of the deadline from the Interior Ministry for submission of its report to July 16.
The Committee says an extension will enable them to take seven more testimonies aside from those provided by the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Police Service, the media and the Ashanti Regional Minister.
The Committee, appointed on July 2, was expected to hand over a detailed report of their inquiry to the Minister of Interior on Friday, July 9.