Two MPs of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have filed a petition with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the violence that marred the 2020 presidential and Parliamentary elections in some constituencies.
According to the MPs, the Police and the Armed Forces failed to provide voters and citizens in general with the needed security during the conduct of the elections.
This, they noted, is imperative in view of the fact that these two security institutions established a National Election Security Taskforce (NESTF) to support efforts at ensuring smooth and transparent conduct of the 2020 elections.
The complaint is restricted to the Techiman South, Odododiodio, Ablekuma Central, and Savelugu constituencies in the Bono East, Greater Accra and Northern Regions of the Republic of Ghana respectively.
The MPs for North Tongu and Ellembele, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah noted, however, that members of the NESTF and others attacked, violently abused and in some instances killed civilians in some of the constituencies mentioned.
The action of police and the military, they said, led to the death of seven persons and many others sustaining serious injuries including gunshot wounds.
“The victims of their actions were unarmed civilians who had turned out peacefully to exercise their franchise.”
“The armed officers executed these acts in clear breach of the statutory procedure for arrests and needlessly visited upon unarmed and peaceful civilians, acts of brutality resulting in death and injuries to others,” the Petition said.
The petitioners demanded the Commission to, in terms of its mandate provided under Article 218 (a) of the Constitution, investigate among other things the abuse of power by the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Armed Forces, the violent incidents, violations of the rights of the victims and the unfair treatment and injustice caused to the victims among other complaints.
“The Complainants also demand that the investigation identify officials of the Ghana Police Service and Ghana Armed Forces responsible for the unlawful acts that are the subject matter of the present complaint and the persons under whose command and instructions they acted.”
“The Complainants finally demand that the investigation identify the role played by the Ministers of the Interior and Defence in terms of instructions and orders in relation to the conduct resulting in this complaint, and the lack of leadership or proper oversight to prevent, stop or respond in a manner to curb the violations that have occurred,” the petition states.
The two are also demanding the Commission to charge the Police and Military to negotiate adequate compensation with the victims or their representatives and families.
They also pray the Commission identify the officials responsible for the acts and recommend appropriate disciplinary sanctions in accordance with the law.