Akufo-Addo petitioned to extend Ayawaso probe to cover previous by-elections
- 18 Feb 2019 --
President Akufo-Addo has been petitioned by two individuals seeking that he expands the scope of the Justice Emile Short Commission.
The two want the scope of the commission’s work to cover past by-elections held in the country.
The petitioners, Eric Nartey Yeboah and Yussif Ibrahim Bangsua indicate that the Walensi, Talensi, Akwatia and Atiwa by-elections should be investigated to deal with the root cause of violence at by-elections in the country.
One of the petitioners, Eric Nartey Yeboah in a Citi News interview said;
“There are also outstanding issues about the same electoral violence that the commission should be given the nod to look into it. There are several by-election problems in the country. Talensi, Wulensi by-election and Akwatia by-election among others. We are pleading with the president to look into those previous by-election so that we uproot the issue of electoral violence going into the 2020 elections.”
The Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia with the permission of President Akufo-Addo in February 2019 set up the Commission of Inquiry to look into the election violence that saw uniformed masked men supposedly national security personnel, unleash violence on some citizens.
The commission, chaired by Justice Emile Short, has former Dean of the Faculty of Law of GIMPA and private legal practitioner, Mr. Ernest Kofi Abotsi as its Secretary.
Henrietta Mensah Bonsu and Patrick K. Acheampong are also members of the Commission.
They were given a one-month mandate and have so far invited key individuals including the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and the Minister of State in charge of National Security Minister, Byran Acheampong and interrogated them over the violence.
Below is the full petition:
PETITION FOR THE EXTENSION OF THE SCOPE OF THE TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY SET UP TO INVESTIGATE THE AYAWASO WEST WOUGUN BY-ELECTIONS VIOLENCE
The undersigned petitioners are respectively private citizens of the Republic Of Ghana who are concerned about all matters of public interest in the country which concern has culminated into the writing of this petition.
- The petitioners welcome the move by your excellency to appoint a commission of inquiry (herein after called ‘the commsion’ )to investigate the violence that characterized the Ayawaso West Wougon (herein after called AWW) by-elections albeit with concerns.
- The petitioners say that the work of the commission must bring by-election violence in Ghana to a closure. However, the commission as at stands now would not achieve this fate because its scope of engagement is overly limited.
- The petitioners further state that, there are four recent by-elections in Ghana that were also characterized by violence and have many victims still suffering effects.
- The petitioners believe that, the AWW by-election violence was occasioned as a result of the unresolved previous by-elections violence. Therefore to be able to bring by-elections violence in Ghana to a closure, the root of the violence must be traced and uprooted.
- The petitioners also state that when the commission does not investigate the other by-elections violence and mitigate the pains of the victims of those instances and or bring the perpetrators to book, there would be a clear discrimination and bias against the victims of those by-elections and an endorsement of the wrongful acts of the perpetrators of the violence.
Therefore the petitioners pray that the following by-elections must be included in the terms of reference of the commission:
The 2009 Akwatia by-election in which violence left many innocent citizens injured;
The 2010 Atiwa by-election where the violence became so pervasive that a land cruiser was driven through a crowd of ordinary citizens injuring many of them;
9.The 2009 Wulensi by-election in which the violence was so massive that live bullets were fired into a crowd of ordinary citizens injuring many of them;
- The 2015 Talensi by-election where the violence led several people brutalized.
- The petitioners respectfully submit that, your excellency extends the terms of reference of the commission to cover the elections stated in paragraphs 7 to 10 above so as to uproot elections violence within the jurisdiction.
- ERIC NARTEY YEBOA- A citizen of Ghana
- YUSSIF IBRAHIM BANGSUA – A citizen of Ghana