Speaker directs Committee to visit Islamic SHS over Police brutalities

Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin on Tuesday, directed the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Interior to visit the Islamic Senior High School (SHS) in Kumasi and report back to the House on the Police brutalities that took place in the School on Monday, June 13.

The Committee, which has just one week to report back to the House, would also meet the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Ashanti Regional Police Commander and the Head of the School.

The Speaker gave the directive on the floor of the House, when Mr Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, the Member of Parliament for Asawase/Minority Chief Whip, made a statement calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the Police brutalities that took place at the Islamic SHS.

Mr Bagbin said the Committee’s report would appraise the House on the situation and that if there were other issues to be looked at, the House would do so.

Mr Bagbin said the Islamic SHS Police brutalities was an incident that was a test on the powers of the House, saying “and I expect that this House would take this matter seriously”.

The Speaker recalled that just a few days ago he did make references to the Committee on Defence and Interior about the brutalities that were been meted out to ordinary civilians by the nation’s security agencies.

He said, he did not mince words in stating that the House should take those things seriously and that he even directed the Committee to investigate all the reports that had been generated from Commissions and Committees set up to investigate such matters, which had yielded no results.

“Now another incident has happened immediately after that…..I think that our security authorities should not in such cases be releasing Police (officers) with live bullets in such situations”.

He said Parliament was awaiting the report of the Police investigation into the Islamic SHS incident, after which the House was entitled to take further action.

Mr Muntaka recounted that for sometimes now the frontage of the Islamic SHS had witnessed speeding cars knocking down students and other commuters, and that last week Friday, June 10, one of the teachers of the School, by name Madam Francisca was driving out of the School when a speeding vehicle hit her vehicle into the ditch and she was rushed to the Komfo Anoakye Teaching Hospital for treatment.

He said unfortunately on Monday, June 13, there were rumours for the students to believe that Madam Francisca was dead, and therefore, in the morning instead of the students going to school, they decided to converge in front of the School to register their displeasure about the lack of speed ramps that the School had complained severally; without having the opportunity to get them and sign posts that would help speeding vehicles to slow down.

“Fortunately, the teachers, the Headmaster and some Police Officers managed to get all these students, Mr Speaker, back into the Campus and even locked the School’s gate.

“Then, unfortunately, another batch of Police officers came. When they came and got there, Mr Speaker, according to the firsthand information from the School’s Authorities, they broke through the School’s gate and entered into the School.

“And while the Headmaster was drawing their attention that the situation was under control and that the students were now within the School, they (the Police) would not take that; they started firing tear gas and live ammunition.”

Mr Muntaka said the Police chased some of the students into the dormitories and the classrooms; adding that in the course of this, 38 students of Islamic SHS got several degrees of injuries and were rushed to various Hospitals within Kumasi.

He said as of Tuesday morning, 16 of the injured were still on admission at the South Suntreso Hospital, while the rest had been treated and discharged.

Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, the Majority Chief Whip, said, the call for an investigation into the Islamic SHS incident was well placed and that since the IGP had commenced some investigations into the matter, there was, therefore, the need for the House to wait for the Police to come out with their report.

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