Parliament to probe military brutalities over missing phone in Wa

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Ghana Parliament
Ghana Parliament

Parliament has directed its Defence and Interior Committee to find out why some military personnel brutalized some civilians in Wa over a missing mobile phone.

First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu, directed the Committee to present a report in four weeks.

The missing phone allegedly belonged to a soldier.

On Friday, a day after the incident, some members of the House, from the Minority Side, arrived in in the chamber, wearing red bands to register their anger against the reported violent behavior of the soldiers, and what they described as “insecurity in the country and the brutality of Ghanaians by the military.”

The soldiers, they asked, must be disciplined for taking the law into their own hands.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu asked the chair, Mr Joseph Osei Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker, to direct a joint Defence and Interior Committees to be swift in probing the alleged lawlessness to maintain the country’s peace and security.

The Committee, he added, must-visit Wa to apprise themselves of the development and circumstances leading to the impunity.

He came under Standing Order 70(2) of the House, which allows a member to raise a matter of urgent public importance.

He said: “We will not accept a state of lawlessness led by men in uniform. I am urging you to request your committee on Defence and Interior to act expeditiously if it means visiting Wa.

“I am asking the Committee to take up this matter because we risk cracking the civil-military relations that remain fundamental for our country’s peace and security.”

He referred to the recent brutalities by state security persons, killing two persons in Ejura, and said: “We have not put Ejura behind us yet, following the death of Ibrahim Mohammed aka Kaaka.”

He added: “yesterday as I watch some development in Wa, a very peaceful city in our country you could see men of the GAF beating and humiliating Ghanaian civilians.

The rights and freedoms of these Ghanaians are guaranteed under the 1992 constitution,” Mr Iddrisu said, and that whatever grievances any member of the GAF has, they cannot continue to take the law into their own hands.

“We are a country governed by law. We will not accept a state of lawlessness in this country led by men uniform” he added.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, observed that “there is creeping lawlessness led by some Ghanaian civilians.”

“We must be up to the issue,” the Majority Leader said.

Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul reported that the incident was true.

He briefed the House on intermediary measures taken so far; including issuing a statement to condemn the act, identified the people affected, and a delegation to the palace of the Wa Naa for conciliatory moves.

Mr Joseph Osei Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament who sat in for Speaker Alban Bagbin directed the Defence and Interior Committee to proceed to Wa to investigate the circumstances that led the military to assault civilians in the city.

Mr Owusu said what is important is not just those who were beaten, but all who were brutalized.

“I understand one person got his leg fractured, many were injured and hospitalized,” the First Deputy Speaker said, adding, “the fear and panic created in a society which hitherto was a peaceful society is worrying.”

He questioned the kind of relationship the GAF want to have with the civil population.

“Don’t forget your uniform and the number of ammunition you have would not be able to contain a civilian rejection that enough is enough…This is not a matter where apologies would be enough for this purposes,” he added.

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