Ghana: CEGA Demands the Issuance of Gov’t White Paper on Short Commission Report

Flash back: Emile Short presenting Ayawaso commission report to Akufo-Addo

Accra, Ghana, September 12, 2019//-The Center for Ethical Governance and Administration (CEGA), a research and advocacy group, has demanded the publication and issuance of Government White Paper on the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry on the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-election which caused atrocities in the country.

According to a press statement issued and signed in Accra by the Executive Director of CEGA, Prof Kwame Ohene –Adjei: “The CEGA is not oblivious of the options available to His Excellency the President, Under Article 280 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, the President shall, subject to clause (4) of this article, cause to be published the report of the Commission of Inquiry together with the White Paper on it within six (6) months after the date of the submission of the report of the Commission”.

It continued: “Under article 280 (4), where the report of the Commission of Inquiry is not to be published, the President shall issue a statement to that effect giving reasons why the report is not to be published”.

However, today is Thursday 12 September 2019. That leaves the President only two days within which to comply with the constitutional injunction contained in Article 280.

Failure by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to comply will amount to an infringement of the Constitution, the consequences of which are spelt out in Article 2 of the Constitution, the statement said.

“Even though the President has the right to issue a statement in lieu of the publication of the Emile Short Commission Report and a White Paper, a decision to opt not to publish the report will be a grievous departure from the convention that has been established in the Fourth Republic and followed by all of President Akufo-Addo’s predecessor Presidents”.

When did the report submit to the President?

 The Emile Short Commission completed its work and duly submitted its report to the President on March 14, 2019 but since then, the President has neither published the report nor issued a White Paper on it.

The President has not been seen or heard commenting on the report; neither has he brought anybody to book.

The CEGA noted that since the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1993, nine (9) Commissions of Inquiry including the Emile Short Commission have been established and all the first eight (8) reports have been duly published with their accompanying White Papers.

These eight reports, according to the centre were published on account of keen public interest and for the healthy development of our country in the spirit of ethical and transparent governance, public morality and accountability.

The CEGA like most Ghanaians are keenly waiting for the President’s decision on this matter within the framework of the 1992 Constitution in the expectation that he will cause the report of the Emile Short Commission and its recommendations and the accompanying White Paper to be published for the following reasons.

The reasons are: 

1.To indicate to the world and Ghanaians that the Government is indeed ready and prepared to root out any form of destructive conduct by armed bandits operating under the guise of National Security.

  1. To assure Ghanaians of their safety in all elections especially the upcoming crucial 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections
  2. To prosecute state officials who coordinated, monitored and commanded the bloody Ayawaso-West Wuogon by-election security operations.

The CEGA therefore called on the Inspector General of Police to release the police’s report into its own investigations it conducted before, during and after the Ayawaso- West Wuogon by-election and to prosecute all the identified criminals without any further delay.

What triggered the violence?

The Electoral Commission of Ghana organised the by-election for the Ayawaso-West Wuogun Constituency in the Greater Accra Region to replace the Late Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, who died on November 21, 2018.

The by-election took place on 31st of January 2019 and an hour after the commencement of voting, some masked armed men in National Security outfits stormed a polling station at La Bawaleshie and attacked some polling agents of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

18 people suffered life threatening gunshot wounds in the attack. It was reported on all major radio and television stations, online media, and social media that were telecasting the events live, that the armed National Security Operatives also stormed and attacked the residence of the NDC Candidate, Delali Kwasi Brempong with indiscriminate sporadic shooting of powerful live ammunitions.

In the process the NDC Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram constituency, Sam Nartey George was chased and assaulted by the masked armed men under the command of ASP Azugu.

Subsequently, at a press briefing, the National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, announced that the NDC had withdrawn from the by-election, citing security concerns.

Following persistent local and international outcry for the government of Nana Addo Dankwa AkufoAddo to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators who were identified in various video recordings as members of the NPP Vigilantes, the President set up a Presidential Commission chaired by an eminent International jurist and former Chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Mr. Emile Short.

Other members of the Commission were Professor (Mrs.) Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, a Professor of Law and Mr. Patrick Acheampong a Barrister-at-Law and former Inspector General of Police. Mr. Kofi Abotsi, Dean of the GIMPA Faculty of Law, was Secretary to the Commission.

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