The Emile Short Commission which investigated the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election has presented its report to the President.
Emile Short, the Chairman of the Commission, said he was confident President Akufo-Addo will find their findings and recommendations useful in shaping reforms for the future.
Presenting the report Thursday at the Jubilee House he thanked the President “for this initiative, and commend your resolve to stamp out the evil of electoral violence from our politics.”
On his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked the Members of the Commission, and all others associated with its work, for agreeing to provide this service to the people of our country.
On his part, President Nana Akufo-Addo thanked the Commission and its Executive Secretary for executing their mandate expeditiously.
“The circumstances under which the unfortunate incident occurred might have proved somewhat difficult for others, but you did not hesitate to accept the assignment and the work that you have done has been in the public domain. The whole country has seen the transparent nature of the proceedings and we have all followed it, obviously with great care and attention. I am happy that at long last it has come to an end,” he said.
He added, “to the extent that the recommendations of this Commission can help us advance the course of law and order in our country, I welcome it.”
“We have the responsibility of ensuring the maintenance of law order of our country, and that responsibility is not one which can be abdicated on any occasion, he said.
The Short Commission was set up February 6, to produce a report in a month. This follows violence that marred the January 31, by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon.
There was an unbriassault on civilians by masked men as the police appeared helpless in controlling the situation at the La Bawaleshie polling stations. Ningo-Prampram NDC MP Sam George was slapped while at least 15 people were reported injured.
The Commission which was made up a former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Emile Short, law professor, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, former Inspector-General of Police, Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, had a former Dean of GIMPA school of law, Kofi Abotsi as its Executive Secretary.
Their mandate was to among other things unravel the circumstances which led to the violence and make recommendations to forestall future occurrence.
The Commission heard testimonies from critical actors in that by-election, including the Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu, the Minister for National Security, Albert Kan Dapaah, General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu and the Member of Parliament for the Nimgo Prampram Constituency, Sam George.
Of greater focus during the sitting of the Commission was vigilantism, what is best described as party militarism. It is generally held that the violence that marred the Ayawaso violence was perpetrated by militias who owe allegiance to the NDC and the NPP.
Testimonies before the commission also reflected the fact that some party loyalists have been enlisted into the State security.
It is expected that the Short Commission’s report, will punish the perpetrators of the January 31 violence, but most importantly identify the causes and sponsors of party militia and make recommendations on ending the menace.